Do we want a greener Dublin? The public have spoken!

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Geneva Pattison

On the 9th of February, the results of the Your Dublin, Your Voice survey on Biodiversity were released. The survey was the first local government-led opinion panel that has ever taken place in Ireland. As mentioned on the DCC website “Your Dublin, Your Voice is an effective mechanism for public sector decision makers to engage with citizens and others in order to drive change for the region.”

The survey took place from the 8th-18th of December 2020 and a total of 1037 people took part. The age profile of people who took part showed that 35% of all who responded were aged between 18-34. with the next highest age representation being the 35-39 age group at 29% participation. Gender demographics show that 51% of those who took part identified as female and 49% participants identified as male.

The results indicated that 84% of survey takers were familiar with the term ‘biodiversity’, with the highest numbers of participants familiar being male with a high level of education and a high level of disposable income. On the question of climate, 64% were aware that a climate and biodiversity emergency was declared in 2019, awareness was lower aomg the 35-49 age group at 58%.

Picture courtesy of DCC survey results PDF

Newspaper and magazine articles were declared as the main source of knowledge for matters of biodiversity for 52% of participants, TV came in at 39% and radio came in at 32% as sources of information on the topic.

In terms of the Dublin City Biodiversity Action Plan, only 20% of survey takers were aware of it. When broken down further, the results showed that within that 20%, 41% of those who were aware of the action plan were voluntary members of environmental and biodiversity groups.

Picture courtesy of DCC survey results PDF

When asked how they perceived the level of biodiversity in Dublin over the last 5 years, out of the 26% who felt biodiversity was decreasing in some areas of the city, a staggering 55% felt that change in land use and urban development was the greatest cause behind the loss.

What improvements do the public want to see?

In the section of the survey focussed on taking action to protect biodiversity in Dublin, aspects people felt would improve biodiversity in the city included; increased planting for pollinators, more community gardens and community green spaces supported by local authorities and improved communication and campaigns on biodiversity by local authorities.

A biodiversity initiative in high public favour , as revealed by the survey, was habitat restoration, with 74% selecting the option. Similar actions were picked by the public, including stricter controls on development and constructing new areas for wildlife, while the lowest rated option was biodiversity education and outreach.

To see the full findings of the survey and for more information click the link to the DCC website below