The Environmental Pillar, an umbrella organisation that represents the Irish environment, has called on the Taoiseach to begin a radical reform of the Seanad by including leading environmental scientists and representatives in his list of Seanad nominees.
“The scientific evidence shows that environmental degradation is occurring now, and that it is a growing threat to society,” explains Joanne Pender of the Irish Wildlife Trust, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Pillar. “We need environmental scientists and those who can speak authoritatively on environmental issues in the Seanad to assist in guiding Ireland’s transition to sustainability. Taoiseach Enda Kenny now has the opportunity to show leadership by including leading environmentalists in his list of nominees.”
She continues: “Whatever happens as a result of the proposed constitutional reforms, right now and more than ever, Ireland needs to incorporate the protection of the environment into all our decision-making, and the first step is to ensure that there is at least some representation of environmental concerns in the Seanad. The current Seanad system does not recognise the importance of the environment at all, whilst the economy is over-represented.”
The Environmental Pillar is also urging those who are eligible to vote in the Seanad election to seek out candidates who will promote the protection and enhancement of what are the essential supports for all life on earth.
The Environmental Pillar was formed in 2009 when 27 national environmental groups agreed to a joint involvement in social partnership. These include well known organisations such as an Taisce, and the Irish Wildlife Trust.