President Michael D. Higgins has welcomed the findings of a year-long study into the rich diversity of plant and animal life in the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin. Speaking after a presentation to him of the final report of the study, the President said today:
“Sabina and I have long been aware of the rich diversity of the natural environment around Áras an Uachtaráin, and it was out of a concern to ensure its protection, and to ensure its future flourishing, that I asked, one year ago, the Office of Public Works to commission a team of ecologists to conduct a detailed ‘biodiversity audit’ of Áras an Uachtaráin and its grounds.
The report, published today provides an invaluable scientific analysis of the diverse habitats, and the great diversity of species, on the 130-acre site around the home of the President of Ireland.
It is truly encouraging to see that the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin are home to an abundance of plants and wildlife, with 297 different species of plant, 247 species of invertebrates, 188 fungi and 51 different bird species.
At a time when our natural world is in such acute danger, with so many of our planet’s fragile ecosystems being destroyed, polluted and plundered, today’s report provides not only a valuable overview of what already exists, but also it comes with a welcome set of recommendations of how, with small but targeted interventions, State bodies such as the OPW can make tangible and meaningful contributions to the health of our natural environment.
May I thank the researchers, and the OPW who commissioned the study, for their insights and welcome suggestions, and may I use this opportunity to renew my call to us all to pursue not only practical solutions but also the much-needed systemic change that is so urgently required if we are to protect our vulnerable planet.
We need action now, not only to protect plant and animal health, but to safeguard the natural world without which no human life is possible.”