top of page

COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference Statement

Today, Minister Noonan spoke at the High Level Segment of the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in Montreal, Canada.

Here is what he said:

Excellencies and distinguished delegates, it’s with a sense of urgency and deep concern that I address you today, at what is the most important global biodiversity summit for over a decade.

Nature is in peril, the complex web of life on which we all depend, the product of 3.6 billion years of evolution, is deteriorating before our very eyes, and we do not have another decade.

We simply don’t.

Ireland is committed to supporting negotiations for an ambitious global biodiversity framework that will halt and reverse biodiversity loss. But we are not waiting for these negotiations to act.

  • We have increased funding for our key biodiversity agency by 85% in three years and doubled its staffing resource.

  • We have grown our international biodiversity spending to €15 million and are committed to scaling up biodiversity finance further.

  • We have pioneered high nature value farming schemes that reward real results for nature and people.

  • We have commenced the ecological restoration and rehabilitation of almost 100,000 hectares of raised and blanket bog.

  • We have brought our marine protected areas from 2.3% to 8.3% in two years by designating 3 million hectares and we are on track to reach 10% in six months.

  • Just this week, we have approved a new Bill to provide for national-level marine protected areas, which will ensure we achieve 30% protection by 2030.

  • We have developed a national Business and Biodiversity Platform to engage the private sector.

  • We have initiated innovative deliberative democracy processes: a Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss and a world-first Children and Young People’s Assembly.

  • And we are currently developing our fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan under our CBD obligations, which will integrate all of the above, as well as our further ambitions to engage with the EU’s nature restoration law and protected area targets, and the outcomes of this summit.

  • Next year, I hope to put that Plan on a statutory footing.

Like many countries, we have a long road yet to travel, but through action, passion and determination across Government and society, we will get there.

The Kunming Declaration sets out our planet’s collective ambition for the conservation and restoration of the living world.

The weight of that ambition – 550 gigatons of global biomass; our ancient biological inheritance; the very fabric of our common future – is on our shoulders. May we have the strength and the courage to bear that burden, and the wisdom to seize its opportunity.


bottom of page