News & Events

Earth Institute Director appointed to Biodiversity Citizens’ Assembly Expert Advisory Group

Published: Friday, 08 April, 2022

UCD Earth Institute director Professor Tasman Crowe appointed member of the Biodiversity Citizens’ Assembly Expert Advisory Group.

On 24 March 2022, the Taoiseach, Michéal Martin, announced the appointment of leading UCD academic, science communicator, and broadcaster Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin as Chair of the upcoming Citizen Assembly on Biodiversity Loss.  UCD Earth Institute director Professor Tasman Crowe has also been appointed as a member of the Biodiversity Citizens’ Assembly Expert Advisory Group.  Professor Crowe’s “experience, knowledge and expertise would be of huge value to the Assembly members in coming to agreement on recommendations as to how the state should respond to biodiversity loss,” Dr Ní Shúilleabháin said.

The Citizens' Assembly on Biodiversity Loss will examine how the State can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss and bring forward proposals in that regard.  It comprises a total of 100 members including 99 randomly-selected members of the public. Its activities will get underway later this month, with an introductory meeting in Dublin Castle where its members will be welcomed and thanked by the Taoiseach, Michéal Martin.  The core sessions of the Assembly will take place in autumn 2022 where EAG members will evaluate relevant research data and select specialists and citizens – national and international – to share their expertise and guidance with the Assembly.

The Citizens’ Assembly originated with Ireland’s first national citizens’ assembly “We the Citizens”, established by political scientists, most prominently Professor David Farrell at UCD and Professor Jane Suiter at DCU.  The citizens assemblies provide a model for citizens to be brought into the heart of debates over constitutional and political reform.  Further research on and development of the citizens assembly model by Professors Farrell and Suiter was supported by the Irish Research Council throughout the 2010s. 

UCD Earth Institute director Professor Tasman Crowe said,

“I am honoured to be appointed to the Biodiversity Citizens’ Assembly Expert Advisory Group, an important step forward in citizen engagement with biodiversity loss in Ireland and how the Irish state can best respond to this unprecedented challenge in a timely manner.” 

Professor Crowe continued, “the emphasis on collaborative participatory approaches aligns with the work of the UCD Earth Institute and its members and I am especially delighted to be working alongside my UCD colleague, Dr Ní Shúilleabháin, and engaging with colleagues and wider society on this important topic.”