“Spring is now well and truly underway, with the natural world once again bursting into life. This spring, as the Covid restrictions become a memory, the signs of life and vitality are particularly pleasing and appreciated. The last two years has been a very difficult time, challenging much of what we have heretofore taken for granted. One of the consequences of the lockdowns was that it caused us all to slow down and become more in touch with our surroundings. For many it brought into sharp focus the benefits of biodiversity and of a healthy local environment. For others an interest in biodiversity definitely helped to better cope with the challenges faced by the Covid lockdowns. Yet, despite the importance of biodiversity, Ireland is in the midst of a biodiversity emergency.
We know this is the case because of what the evidence is telling us about species declines and a reduction in the quality of ecosystems. This evidence is generated by a large number of individuals and organisations who are working to survey, collate and analyze data to better understanding what is happening with different aspects of Ireland’s biodiversity.
The Spring 2022 issue of Biodiversity Ireland presents just a snapshot of some of the important work that the Data Centre and some of its partners are doing on biodiversity in Ireland. It shows the value of conservation NGOs and conservation charities who have such expertise in specialised aspects of biodiversity. It showcases the huge engagement that already exists with a large network of individuals who record biodiversity and see it as a life-long learning pursuit. It highlights the importance of regular systematic surveys to help monitor biodiversity populations so that any changes that are happening can be detected, quantified and reported upon in order to stimulate conservation action. It also shows the importance of scientific research to better understand why some of these changes are happening and how the impacts can be mitigated, which again should help to better inform policy to take more targeted conservation action.
The Dept. of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is currently in the consultation stage of production of Ireland’s 4th National Biodiversity Action Plan as the framework for public policy and action to improve the conservation of Ireland’s biodiversity. With the renewed political support that biodiversity has received from the current Government there is a corresponding expectation that this new Plan will provide the impetus to change the outlook for biodiversity conservation in Ireland, in a real way. The National Biodiversity Data Centre looks forward to playing its part to help deliver on the ambitions of the Plan.”