“I think it’s important that children and young people like us can have our say because we don’t usually get to be involved in things that adults do, and we have lots of interesting things to say.” That’s what Elsie, age 8, a Young Advisor from Co. Tipperary, says about a national Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss that is being held in Ireland in October. I agree with Elsie, who is the same age as me.
The Assembly is for young people aged 7-17 and the ideas it thinks of will be shared with the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss, which will invite ’99 randomly-selected adult members of the public, aged 18 and over’ to have their say.
I really like this quote from Dr Clodagh Harris, research consortium member and senior lecturer in the Department of Government and Politics at University College Cork, who said: “‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children (Native American proverb)’. Decisions made (or not made) on biodiversity loss today will have irreversible consequences for children and young people. It is essential that their views are heard. This Assembly offers an important opportunity for them to be involved in decisions on biodiversity loss that will impact their futures and those of their children and grandchildren.”
Here’s some more important information:
‘The Children and Young People’s Assembly will take place across two weekends in October: Weekend 1: 7-9 October in Glencree, Co. Wicklow; Weekend 2: 21-23 October in Killarney, Co. Kerry.
‘As only 35 children and young people will be selected as Assembly Members as a representative sample, the Young Advisors are encouraging all children and young people aged 0-17 to submit their views and ideas throughout September on their website https://cyp-biodiversity.ie./‘
‘An open submissions portal has been created for other children and young people to contribute to the Assembly. This will remain open until 30 September. Submissions can be written, artwork, video clips or photographs. A short film explaining the process and how children and young people can submit their views and ideas to the Assembly throughout September is available here: www.cyp-biodiversity.ie/get-involved.’