Limerick biodiversity officer will have major impact on local environment

Biodiversity in the shadow of King John's Castle.

LIMERICK City and County Council is one of eleven local authorities to be awarded funding to appoint a biodiversity officer to develop and implement a countywide biodiversity plan.

Other responsibilities will include advising the council on biodiversity related issues and its obligations in relation to protecting biodiversity as well as helping the various departments integrate biodiversity into their policies.

The biodiversity officer will also be expected to establish a county biodiversity forum and promote new biodiversity initiatives based on best conservation practice.

Welcoming the new appointment, Limerick Green Party councillor Seán Hartigan said that for the past two years he had been campaigning to have a Biodiversity Officer, Climate Action Officer and Tree Officer appointed in Limerick.

“The Climate Action officer job has been advertised, the Biodiversity officer job will be advertised soon and I’m confident we will get a Tree Officer approved soon,” he said.

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The City East representative pointed out that a third of wild bee species in Ireland are close to extinction and 60 per cent of birds commonly occurring in Ireland are now on the red or amber conservation lists.

“The biodiversity officer’s job will be to draw up a biodiversity plan for the county and help it meet its obligations, to raise awareness of the issues involved and to  work on specific projects with local communities,” he said.

Fellow Green Party councillor Sasa Novak said it was a hugely positive development that would go a long way towards addressing some of the major biodiversity issues in Limerick.

“Public awareness of the biodiversity crisis has never been more acute and this development has come at the perfect time. This will have an enormous impact in helping to deliver action for biodiversity, for wildlife and for habitats, and the officers will be available to support local communities in their efforts too,” she added.