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Statement from President Higgins on National Biodiversity Day, 22 May 2020

Date: Fri 22nd May, 2020 | 11:34

“Today, on National Biodiversity Day, we are invited to reflect on our relationship with the natural world, and to commit to the practical actions that are necessary to protect our fragile environment.

The covid-19 pandemic, which has hit our societies so hard, has also revealed our profound connectedness to nature’s vulnerabilities. We have been painfully reminded of the great extent to which we are connected to, and depend, on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our health, our food, our medicines, shelter and energy.

As we begin to nurture hope for a better and more sustainable future after the current crisis, it is important that the solidarity that has proven so essential in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, continues; that we find ways to base our policies and plans on recognition of the importance of working together, at all levels.   This is so necessary if we are to build a future of equality, inclusion and prosperity, in harmony with nature.

It was human actions that formed the basis of the threat to our very survival, that are responsible for the environmental and health challenges that we are experiencing.  Anthropogenic climate changes all result from human action, and human choices.

Similarly, it will be the choices we make as humans that will enable us to seek to undo at least some of the damage that has been done, at least to ensure that such practices do not continue.  Finding a transition away from the unsustainable paths we are on is of course, a major issue of intergenerational justice.

Let us use Biodiversity Day 2020 as an opportunity to commit to taking those steps that are so urgently needed to bring the world onto a path towards sustainability.”