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A Historic Citizens' Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

Speaking at the conclusion of the two-day session, Assembly chairwoman Dr. Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain noted that it had been the first Citizens' Assembly on Biodiverity Loss anywhere in the world. The Assembly concluded with a bold request for a referendum on an amendment to the Constitution to protect biodiversity.

On Saturday the Assembly heard that climate change cannot be ignored, with flooding, droughts and bushfiles taking place around the world.

Well-known conservationalist, Dr. Jane Goodall spoke to the 99 members of the Citizens’ Assembly via a virtual address.

“My greatest reason for hope is the young people,” Dr Goodall said. “Once young people understand the problems and we empower them to take action, they are changing the world. It’s not that they can, they are.”

“Young people’s imaginations are extraordinary, they are always coming up with new ways of helping the environment,” she said.

“They’re my greatest reason for hope, they’re raising awareness among their peers, changing attitudes of their parents and grandparents, who may sometimes be in high decision-making positions.”

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