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Limerick conference discusses local authorities’ biodiversity initiatives

Limerick Biodiversity Conference
Attending the Biodiversity Emergency Conference in the Strand hotel were Francis Foley, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Nuala O'Connell, Senior Planner at Limerick City and County Council, Aisling Coughlan, Sharon Lynch and Aisling Mulvihill, all Limerick City and County Council. Photo by Liam Burke/Press 22.

Over 200 delegates attended the conference on Monday to address the city’s biodiversity emergency

By Taylor Mulligan

Mayor of Limerick, Francis Foley, speaking at the Biodiversity Emergency Conference at the Limerick Strand Hotel. Photo by Liam Burke/Press 22.

Action is needed to protect almost a quarter of all species who have been threatened with extinction, a major biodiversity conference held in Limerick has heard.

Over 200 delegates attended the Biodiversity Emergency Conference on Monday, September 26 at the Strand Hotel to address the city’s biodiversity emergency. 

The emerging fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan will include ambitions for local authorities with regard to biodiversity, and the appointment of Biodiversity Officers within each local authority will assist the process.

In support of the biodiversity initiative, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Francis Foley, said, “By their very nature, local authorities are ideal organisations to champion the drive to improve our biodiversity and address the current biodiversity emergency.”

Dr Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre commented, “What the conference has done is highlight some of the wonderful initiatives and actions that are already happening in local areas, that span the spectrum from large scale state supported, to smaller community and more voluntary focused initiatives.

Sarah O’Malley, EU Project Officer and Sharon Lynch, Environmental Technician, both Limerick City and County Council. Photo by Liam Burke/Press 22.

“The conference looked at the success and lessons of some of these and called on local authorities to adopt more of these initiatives locally with a view to greatly upscale efforts to address local biodiversity loss.”

In his address to the conference, Minister Malcolm Noonan of the Green Party highlighted the hugely important role that local authorities play in shaping policies and actions at the local level. 

He thanked Limerick City and County Council and the National Biodiversity Data Centre for taking the initiative to host his conference and welcomed the opportunity to be presented with recommendations.

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