Offaly environmental campaigner Tom Roche is seeking performers for a biodiversity vigil
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Tom Roche is organising a 'virtual vigil' in Tullamore to mark the United Nations international day for biological diversity on Friday, May 22 next.
The vigil will last for 10 hours and will be both physical, taking place in O'Connor Square in the town centre, and virtual, where participants can join online on Facebook.
Mr Roche said the event will strictly comply with the Government guidelines which allow an easing of the Covid-19 restrictions from May 18 with up to four people who don't live together permitted to meet outdoors while keeping two metres apart.
From 8am to 6pm on May 22 the vigil will be livestreamed on the internet and poets, singers and musicians are being invited to perform.
Mr Roche says the theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) is 'Our solutions are in nature' and he links the public response to the medical science on Covid-19 with the need for action on the climate.
The Just Forests founder said biodiversity is water, soil, food and pollinators but it is also medicine, health, clothes, shelter, fuel and plants and animals.
He said it is unfortunate that people don’t always see biodiversity in those terms and believes the world’s biological diversity is under the most severe threat ever recorded.
“Ireland has listened to and acted positively on the medical science of Covid-19. We must now listen to and act urgently on the science of climate breakdown and the resulting loss of biological diversity and protect it before it’s too late,” said Mr Roche.
He said the key message of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), who published the global assessment report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in 2019 was that there is a ‘critical need to integrate biodiversity considerations in all decision-making in any sector or challenge, whether its water, agriculture, infrastructure or business.’
The veteran Rhode-based environmentalist, who works in timber furniture restoration, also quoted UN secretary-general António Guterras who said: “Retreating on climate action in the face of the pandemic is not an option given that the social and economic devastation caused by climate disruption will be exponentially greater than the Covid-19 crisis.”
During the vigil, a number of Tullamore students will deliver a message of sustainability, will sing songs and recite poetry with a very ‘nature-centred’ theme.
The full programme of activities will follow and will be posted on the Just Forests website justforests.org https://bit.ly/2zjRg38
Poets, singers and musicians with pieces inspired by nature are asked to contact Mr Roche 086 8049389 before the registration deadline of this Sunday, May 17.
He said the deadline will be strictly adhered to and asks performers not turn up on the day as only registered participants can perform.
People can participate in this historic event by signing in to Facebook link