November 16th, 2018
Large numbers are expected to join demonstrations across Ireland tomorrow to highlight the environmental crises currently facing the planet.
The family-friendly events taking place tomorrow at 2pm in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, and Galway are part of an International Day of Action with similar protests taking place across 10 countries.
A recent report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London revealed that human activity has claimed the lives of 60 per cent of the world’s animals.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also recently warned that we only have 12 years left to take concrete action to avert dangerous climate breakdown.
Organisers in Dublin expect to see up to 1,000 people, as well as civil society and environmental NGOs, students and politicians, outside the Natural History Museum tomorrow afternoon.
Demonstrators are also set to meet tomorrow afternoon outside the City Hall in both Cork and Belfast and at the Salthill Promenade in Galway.
One of Ireland’s leading conservation charities, the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT), urged the public to join the events to protest against a lack of Government action in the face of “planetary ecological collapse”.
IWT Campaigns Officer, Pádraic Fogarty, said that it is “vital” for the Irish people to become aware that the extinction crisis isn’t some far away problem and is “right here on our doorstep”.
Extinction has already seen a loss of heritage and livelihood in Ireland and there are huge opportunities for us all were we to bring nature back,” he said.
“We can’t address this crisis without political action at the highest level and our current government has failed spectacularly in this task.”
Green Party spokesperson for environmental protection, Senator Grace O’Sullivan said that the ecological crisis makes it clear that “it’s time for Ireland to have an Eco-Rising”.
“We cannot stand idly by as ecosystems collapse and our life-support is switched off,” she said, calling on the public to demand “government leadership “to deal with the crisis.
Time to speak up
Trocaire’s head of policy, Dr Lorna Gold will be speaking at tomorrow’s event in Cork and expressed concern about the far-reaching impact of climate change, a “key driver of extinction”.
Dr Gold said that politicians, the media and wider society are “still not responding fast enough” to the problem.
“If we care about our planet and future for our children, now is the time to voice our deep concern together,” she said. “We all have to wake up and be prepared to make some radical changes.”
Dr Gordon Reid, the Green Party representative for Bandon-Kinsale, encouraged people in Cork to attend tomorrow’s demonstrations to voice concerns about corporate exploitation of the environment in the county.
“At Ringaskiddy, most of the land is a feeding area for wild birds. The birds are protected by law. But their feeding grounds are all zoned for building heavy industry,” he said.
Dr Reid said that, while endangered species have found haven at a wetland habitat at the disused Raffeen Quarry, planned construction of a motorway through the quarry will jeopardise their safety.
“We can’t let that happen, we just can’t. Once a species becomes extinct, we don’t get a second chance to go back and put right our mistakes,” he said.