Vote For Nature ; General Election 2020
Vote For Nature: Says Pioneering Organic Centre.
The Organic Centre in Co Leitrim is calling on Election 2020 candidates and politicians to show that they will act for nature and climate by prioritising organic farming and supporting the work of environmental charitable organisations. The Organic Centre was founded in 1995 by local organic growers and is celebrating 25 years of organic work this year. The Centre demonstrates the efficacy of organic methods in Ireland and as a pioneering organisation, has supported thousands of people to do their bit when it comes to the environment and sustainability. In 2020, the Centre will offer over 90 courses and events, designed to give people the opportunity to make the change, at home, work and in their garden’s/fields.
In view of our climate and biodiversity crises, prioritising the environment is critical, and a host of recent scientific reports including the 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems report, have set the alarm bells ringing. Species are dying at unprecedented rates and despite all efforts global temperatures are continuing to rise.
A study published in the Journal Biological Conservation in 2019 found that global insect populations – including bees and butterflies – are collapsing. The main drivers of species decline include habitat loss, intensive agriculture and urbanisation, pollution from synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, and the negative impacts of climate change itself. In Ireland, An Taisce reports on an NPWS 2019 study links our monoculture system to 70% of the damage being seen at internationally important habitats in Ireland.
At the same time, Ireland is on the bottom of the league when it comes to land taken over for organic farming, according to European statistics, with just Iceland and Malta who rank below us. Only 1.6% of available land is farmed organically.
‘Our intensive model of agriculture is unsustainable and has to change, and we must work with farmers to create sustainable options’ – says Jan Melia manager of the Organic Centre.
‘Organic farming works and now more than ever we must raise our game to protect Ireland’s natural environment and support the farmers and growers who work with the land. We have the potential to be a world leader in organic agriculture and support farmers and local communities to make the changes our environment needs, We must act and we need politicians to do more – to listen, and to act in relation to climate change.
She adds ‘The Organic Centre came about 25 years ago from a vision of change, now it is up to everyone to put our shoulders to the wheel to act for nature, in what is the biggest global challenge of our time. Politicians must act for nature and climate, and people can use this election to hold our politicians to account’