Council must appoint biodiversity officer to safeguard wildlife, says Green Party candidate O’Reilly

Green Party Galway City West candidate Pauline O'Reilly.

Green Party Galway City West candidate Pauline O'Reilly.

As grass cutting season commences, the Green Party is asking councils to act to halt biodiversity loss. Green Party candidate for Galway City West, Pauline O’Reilly has today called on Galway City Council to set aside areas in public parks and roadside verges for pollinators, and to get active in halting the alarming decline in biodiversity by implementing actions within the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.

“We’re being reminded again and again of how our precious biodiversity is under threat. Bee populations in Ireland have halved and there’s a reduction in populations of many of our Irish birds like corncrakes and curlews. We need to take drastic steps to help maintain biodiversity,” she said.

“We’ve some world class habitats in the city, from wetlands to coastline, and many areas of remnant habitat can be found within the city itself. These leftover areas of habitat can provide refuge for species that would otherwise disappear from our cities and estates.”

She said that Galway City Council urgently needs a biodiversity officer.”Instead of nature being something that gets thought about at the last minute, if at all, we need someone to put nature first in the big decisions.”

She said that members of the community do a lot to try to maintain biodiversity, from planting butterfly friendly trees in their gardens to picking up some of the litter that blights our beautiful beaches and threatens our marine life.

“But the council needs to step up too. Dublin City Council recently advertised for a biodiversity officer to ensure the city maintains and improves its urban habitats in the face of development, climate change and a growing human population. We must urgently do the same.”

“Residents were shocked last year to see shrubs and trees cleared from along the canal, when many birds relied on this ‘urban jungle’ to nest and hide from predators. This is the kind of decision that a biodiversity officer could advise on, helping to speak up for nature,” she concluded.


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