Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss

In October 2022, Ireland will hold its first Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss. Designed with children and young people, the Assembly will bring together 35 randomly selected Members aged 7-17 from across Ireland to explore, discuss and create recommendations on how to protect and restore biodiversity in Ireland

Biodiversity describes all the different kinds of animals, plants and microorganisms that live on Earth. Biodiversity is also vital for making sure humans have what they need to live and grow such as food, clean air and water, medicine, and materials for shelter. However, many parts of the world, including Ireland, are experiencing great loss of natural habitats, environments and wildlife.

In Ireland, a citizens’ assembly for the adult population is taking place to discuss how to best protect Ireland’s biodiversity. 99 randomly selected adults (18 years old and above) are meeting over the course of this year to learn about biodiversity loss in Ireland and to discuss what solutions can be taken forward.

But, children and young people also have the right to have their say. Many children and young people in Ireland are already calling for urgent action to protect the natural environment.

Since 1992, Ireland has been making big steps to better protect and promote children’s rights. Biodiversity loss affects children’s rights to grow up in healthy, safe and clean environments so it’s very important that decisions being made involve children and young people.

To make sure the Children and Young People’s Assembly is designed and run in a way that works for children and young people, the project is being designed by an intergenerational team consisting of a Young Advisory Team and an independent research consortium. The Young Advisory Team comprises nine children and young people from across Ireland, aged 8-16. The research consortium includes experts in children’s participation, deliberative democracy, and biodiversity from Dublin City University, University College Cork, and terre des hommes, an international organisation with a focus on children’s environmental rights.

 

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