Biodiversity is vital to life on earth. In addition to its own intrinsic value, the variety of life provides us with food, clothes, medicines, places to live as well as contributing to our quality of life through recreation and tourism.
A report by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government conservatively estimates the value of biodiversity in Ireland to be at least €2.6 billion per annum (DoEHLG 2008 The Economic and Social Aspects of Biodiversity-Costs and Benefits of Biodiversity in Ireland ).
Unfortunately, Ireland like many countries is reporting loss of biodiversity. This is happening for many reasons but mostly it is due to the destruction and deterioration of habitats mainly by human causes but climate change is also posing a serious challenge to biodiversity.
Governments throughout the world, including the Irish Government, have acknowledged the importance of biodiversity. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, to which Ireland is a signatory, recognises that biodiversity should be conserved for reasons of ethics, economic benefit and human survival. On foot of the government’s National Biodiversity Plan http://www.npws.ie/sites/default/files/publications/pdf/DAHGI_2002_NBP.pdf to address the problem, Kilkenny County Council prepared a Biodiversity Plan to set out practical actions to identify, protect, raise awareness, promote and manage the biodiversity of the county Council; this is currently being reviewed. Please click here to see the list of actions in the Biodiversity Plan.