Tuesday, 6 July 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
221. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 51 of 24 June 2021, when the biodiversity citizens’ assembly will be established. [35430/21]
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 youths 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) 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.
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.