Irish Citizens back Organic Farming as part of the solution to Ireland’s Biodiversity Crisis
05/04/2023 – Today the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss published its final report and recommendations following discussions and deliberations since last May. The Report of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss reaffirms the need for meaningful action and change across key parts of the economy and society, with a radical overhaul of Ireland’s approach to biodiversity management, backed by constitutional protections.
The report considers all sectors including agriculture, with key recommendations to develop organic production and consumption as part of the solution for supporting biodiversity protection and enhancement.
Gillian Westbrook said, “The Irish Organic Association welcomes the recommendations of Citizens’ Assembly for the Irish government and society to continue to invest in the development of organic food and farming across the country. Flourishing biodiversity is essential for healthy ecosystems and sustainable farming, with over 30 years of research demonstrating the benefits of organic farming for biodiversity – both above and below the ground ”.
“To ensure the organic sector reaches its full potential, it is essential that organic farmers and business, committed to biodiversity protection and enhancement, are at the forefront of Irish agri-food policy and market development actions from farm to fork. This includes not only expanding and developing the organic farmland area and organic supply chains both at home and abroad, but also ensuring that farmers and business are adequately rewarded and not restricted for their efforts in supporting biodiversity ”.
For further information please contact Stephen Meredith, Head of Policy, Irish Organic Association at 089 6160432, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss was convened to examine how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss, and to bring forward proposals, meeting on six occasions between May 2022 and January 2023.
The Irish Organic Association supported the deliberations and discussions of the Citizen’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss through a number of evidence-based contributions, including a written submission and in-person presentation The most recent review of the research over the last 30 years (Stein-Bachinger et al., 2021) concludes that species richness and abundance are up 35% and 55% higher on organic farms depending on the species.  This includes both fair market returns and policy incentives. Too often organic farmers cannot combine organic and relevant environmental payments due to often unjustified double funding concerns, undermining potential biodiversity gains.