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Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss is the fifth national assembly commissioned by the government since the first Convention on the Constitution over a decade ago. No other government in the world has made such extensive use of citizens’ assemblies. It is also the first time a national government has commissioned an assembly to consider how the state can respond to the challenge of biodiversity loss. Another first is the Children and Young People’s Assembly that ran alongside and fed into the process. 

This learning call will consider the experience of running the assembly and its impact to date. The final report contains 73 high-level recommendations and 86 sectoral specific actions and priorities and includes a proposal to change the Constitution to ensure people have a right to a clean, healthy, and safe environment and specific protections for nature. In December the joint committee of parliament that is considering the assembly’s report will make its recommendations to government. 

In this learning call we are joined by three individuals well placed to help us understand the Assembly process and its impacts to date: 

  • Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin – the Assembly’s independent chair and an academic with a public profile on science communication
  • Art O’Leary – until recently the Secretary General to the President of Ireland and who has been involved in the organisation of most of the Irish citizens’ assemblies 
  • Katie Reid – worked with children and young people to co-design and deliver the Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss which took place alongside the national assembly 

Read KNOCA’s summary of Ireland’s Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss 

Visit the Official Assembly website and the Children and Young People’s Assembly website