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Citizens' Assembly

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 13 July 2021

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Ceisteanna (325, 332)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

325. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will provide a date for the Citizens' Assembly on biodiversity loss before the Dáil summer recess; and if his Department will ensure that points (details supplied) will be considered on the agenda. [37234/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Lahart

Ceist:

332. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if consideration is being given to the need to set a date for the citizens' assembly on biodiversity loss before 16 July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37372/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 325 and 332 together.

The convening of a Citizens' Assembly on Biodiversity is under discussion at a senior level between the Department of the Taoiseach and my Department.  The timing and scheduling of the Assembly will depend on the outcome of these discussions and on a number of external factors which need to be considered before the scope and terms of the Assembly are framed. 

In this regard, work is currently underway in my Department on putting a consultation in place to ensure the views of stakeholders, such as youth, are included in the process. I consider it crucial that the views of our young people are properly and carefully considered in determining how we approach the biodiversity crisis in the coming years. 

Work is also ongoing in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN agreement that underpins global biodiversity policy, on developing and reaching agreement on a new Global Biodiversity Framework. This new Framework should be presented at the next Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP15), which is due to be held in China later this year. It will set out the targets and actions agreed on among Parties, including Ireland, to respond to the biodiversity crisis over the next decade. 

Linkages between global biodiversity policies and issues around sustainable development, Just Transition, the concerns of local and indigenous communities, gender inequalities, as well as the needs of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), are an important aspect of the discussions taking place at international level. 

Ireland's next National Biodiversity Action Plan is due to be published in 2022 and will be informed by the objectives of the new Framework. It would be useful if the Citizens' Assembly was also scheduled so that its discussions can respond to the new global policy framework for biodiversity and help inform Ireland's role in it.  

I do not envisage that a date for the Assembly will be set before the Dáil Summer Recess.

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