I am stepping into the place of committee Chairman, Deputy Brian Leddin, who may be able to attend towards the end of the meeting. This meeting is a part of our engagement regarding the reduction of carbon emissions by 51% by 2030 and this is the second of three sessions which are focused on biodiversity, ecosystems, the relationship between biodiversity and climate action, how biodiversity and ecosystems can play a role in achieving the reduction of carbon emissions, and the general health of biodiversity systems and ecosystems. We will today focus particularly on maritime ecosystems and water in general.
To that end, I welcome to the meeting Dr. Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, and Professor Anamarija Franki and Mr. Stephen Kavanagh from Native Oyster Reef Restoration Ireland, NORRI. We are also joined by Ms Ellen McMahon from the Sustainable Water Network and Professor Ken Whelan from the Atlantic Salmon Trust. On behalf of the committee, I welcome them all to today's meeting and thank them for attending, sharing their expertise and playing an important part in this process.
Before the meeting starts and we take statements from witnesses, I must read out a note on privilege. I remind our guests of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable, or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of that person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue their remarks. It is imperative that they comply with any such direction.
For witnesses attending remotely outside the Leinster House campus there are some limitations to parliamentary privilege. As such, they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as a witness physically present does. Witnesses participating in this committee session from a jurisdiction outside the State are advised that they should also be mindful that domestic law could be applied to the evidence they give.
Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise, or make charges against a person outside the Houses of the Oireachtas or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. I remind members that they are only allowed to participate in this meeting if they are physically located in the Leinster House complex. In this regard, I ask all members, prior to making their contribution to the meeting, to confirm that they are on the grounds of the Leinster House campus.
For those watching this meeting online, Oireachtas members and witnesses are accessing this meeting remotely. Only I, as Vice Chairman, and necessary staff essential to the running of the meeting are physically present in the committee room. Due to these unprecedented circumstances and the large number of people attending the meeting remotely, I ask everyone to bear with us should any technical issues arise. That is an important point because, from time to time, we have technical issues with the connection. Do not panic because we always manage to get people back online and get them through the rest of their statements. It will all be fine in the end.
It is now my great privilege to call on Dr. Berrow to make his opening statement. I remind witnesses that they have five minutes to make an opening statement, after which I will invite questions from members, who can indicate they have a question during the course of our guests' statements. Each question will have a two-minute limit and we will then go to each of our guests for a response. I ask Dr. Berrow to make his opening statement.