The Shared Island Dialogue series was launched by the Taoiseach last October as part of the Government’s Shared Island Initiative and is central to our Shared Island approach, working with the Northern Ireland Executive and the British Government to address shared strategic challenges, in ambitious and effective partnership, founded on the Good Friday Agreement.
Alongside PEACE PLUS, the Government in Budget 2021 announced our Shared Island Fund, with €500m in capital funding being made available over the next five years, ring-fenced for collaborative North/South investments, to be made in line with our Programme for Government commitments and priorities, including on environmental protection and sustainable development
I delivered the opening address at the second dialogue which took place on 5 February, on the theme "Environment and Climate - addressing shared challenges on the island." The purpose of the dialogue was to inform the development of the Shared Island Initiative in view of the priority placed by the Government on addressing the climate and biodiversity crises, and protecting our shared environment on the island.
The event was moderated by Kevin O'Sullivan, Environment and Science Editor with the Irish Times, and there were three panel discussions on the themes of "Tackling the climate emergency - a shared island perspective"; "Addressing the biodiversity crisis on the island"; and Future priorities for all-island cooperation on environment".
This second dialogue brought together more than 100 participants from across the island of Ireland joined in an online discussion involving civil society groups, business and agriculture representatives, academic and research experts, local authorities and state agencies. In doing so, the d ialogue provided an opportunity for experts to share experience and suggestions on what works, what more could be done together and where we could learn from each other on the island - in government, in research, and in our economy and society - to protect our shared environment.
The Shared Island Dialogues are organised by the Shared Island Unit in the Department of the Taoiseach in partnership with Government Departments. The Dialogue series will contribute to the Government’s approach to the Shared Island Initiative, complementing commissioned research and the implementation of commitments on building a Shared Island that are set out in the Programme for Government. Further information on the Shared Island Initiative is available at www.gov.ie/sharedisland, with reports from plenary sessions of the Shared Island Dialogues being added at www.gov.ie/sharedisland/dialogues.