Cross border initiative seeks solutions to avert biodiversity and climate crises

Need for solutions to issues transcends national, disciplinary and sectoral boundaries, professor says

A north-south initiative to scale up research on how best to address the climate and biodiversity crises affecting the world, and the island of Ireland, is to be announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Tuesday.

Plans for the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network (AICBRN), which will embark on joint research across a wide range of institutions, notably a third level, will be set out at an event with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill,

Mr Martin has underlined the challenge from the climate and biodiversity emergencies shared by all on the island of Ireland.

“It will require collaboration, research and innovation across all sectors of public, private and civil society. We are stronger working on this together. The solution-based research of AICBRN has never been more critical and I have every confidence in the important work it will undertake.”


Ms O’Neill said climate change was a challenge which required shared action.

“For us in government, that means taking the action needed at policy level to implement the measures that will help to achieve our shared goals; and working in partnership with organisations and experts at an operational level to address these challenges and bring about positive change,” she added.

Prof Yvonne Buckley, vice president for biodiversity and climate action at Trinity College Dublin, said: "The climate and biodiversity crises transcend national, disciplinary and sectoral boundaries. We all live on the same planet and urgently need to fulfil our international commitments to reducing greenhouse gases, while protecting and restoring the ecosystems that sustain our lives, livelihoods and wellbeing."

Researchers from different disciplines across both jurisdictions have grasped this challenge and were working together to find those solutions through AICBRN, she added. It is seeking a research budget of €100 million over the next decade.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times