The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage commissioned an independent research consortium to design and run the Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss. The project consortium was led by Dublin City University (DCU) and involved University College Cork (UCC), and terre des hommes (tdh), an international organisation with a focus on children’s environmental rights. The consortium brought together leadingnational and international experts across the fields of environmental governance and deliberative democracy; children’s rights, participation, and education studies; and biodiversity and nature.
Too often, processes and institutions for children and young people’s participation are designed by adults. In order to take seriously our obligation to realise children and young people’s rights to have a say in matters that affect them, we sought to create an intergenerational project team that included children and young people, as well as the adults in the project team. This was essential to making sure the Assembly was designed and delivered in a way that worked for children and young people.
In May 2022, we invited children and young people across Ireland who are passionate about nature, the environment and biodiversity to apply to be a Young Advisor in this process. In June 2022, we welcomed 9 Young Advisors aged 8–16 into the team.