Éire / Ireland

In a recent testimony before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action, Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, the Chair of the Citizens' Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, emphasized that the notion of an "urban-rural divide" in environmental protection is misguided. Her statements came as a response to concerns that differing interests between urban and rural populations could impede effective action to protect the environment.

Citing research from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dr. Ní Shúilleabháin highlighted that people from various backgrounds, both young and old, residing in rural and urban areas, share a common concern for the environment. She underscored that this shared concern should serve as a unifying force in the efforts to protect and preserve our natural world. Despite acknowledging differences of opinion among assembly members during their deliberations, Dr. Ní Shúilleabháin pointed out that an overwhelming majority reached a consensus on the recommendations presented in the final report of the Citizens' Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, published in April. This report notably criticized the state's insufficient funding and enforcement of existing laws related to biodiversity and nature protection.

Read more: No 'urban-rural divide' on environmental protection (rte.ie)