At the outset of National Biodiversity Week and ahead of International Day for Biological Diversity this Friday, the Green Party is urging people and communities to use the time of covid restrictions to become active participants in showcasing and recording Ireland’s flora and fauna using the hashtag #BiodiversityOnYourDoorstep.
Green Party TD and Spokesperson for Community and Rural Development Malcolm Noonan:
“We’ve seen an incredible heightening of awareness of the world around us since everything became quieter and the pace of life slowed down. Let’s build on that to make or leave space for wild things and to record sightings of wild plants, birds, animals or insects within our 5k ramblings”
With biodiversity under significant strain from habitat loss, water pollution and climate change, everyone has a role to play, said the TD.
“It has been encouraging that tidy towns groups and local authorities across the country are adopting ‘no mow’ policies for green areas, phasing out the use of dangerous herbicides and creating habitats for wildlife; but we need to go further. We’re urging people to become ‘citizen scientists’ by recording sightings of wildlife on www.biodiversityireland.ie and sharing images and stories with the wider public using the hashtag: #BiodiversityOnYourDoorstep.”
Green Party MEP and field ecologist Grace O’Sullivan:
“Biodiversity is all around us. Even if you’re restricted to your home in these trying and sad times, look around you and you’ll see the world is teeming with life. Whether it’s the spider building a web in that high corner you can’t reach, or the beetle scuttling along on the footstep outside your front door, the birds singing their hearts out at the moment or the myriad life-forms inhabiting rockpools around our shores…it’s all there and we want to see it.
“Raising awareness of the land and marine biodiversity around us helps us to understand that each and every one of us are stakeholders. The child that is going online this week to identify a species of butterfly is as important, in my view, as the experts that engage in the cross-party Biodiversity group I am a coordinator of in the European Parliament. It’s about engagement and knowledge and staking a claim on the planet we inhabit.
“Sadly we’ve lost so much biodiversity throughout the world over recent decades, but on this week, let’s look at what we have, let’s celebrate it and let’s get engaged in actions to nurture and build on what we have.”
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Noonan said it has opened our eyes and ears.
“It has heightened our collective awareness of the sights, sounds and smells of nature. National Biodiversity Week is here to remind us of our interconnectedness with the natural world and that our relationship with nature pre-covid was a destructive one. It’s time to change that relationship, and our families, communities and local authorities can lead the way”