NI wildlife and natural environment at ‘crisis point after years of inaction’, conservation charity warns


A leading conservation charity has warned that wildlife and the natural environment in Northern Ireland are at “the point of crisis after years of inaction”.

Northern Ireland’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) criticized Stormont’s executive for “failing to meet” the goals of its plan to halt biodiversity loss.

The charity said the executive failed to meet 83% of commitments made in a five-year biodiversity strategy, which aimed to slow the decline of wildlife.

According to the RSPB review, 35 of the 42 targets set in 2015, including water quality and habitat protection, were not met.

Other figures reveal that 11% of Northern Ireland’s species are now considered threatened with extinction due to a lack of laws to enforce protection and restoration.

These include the little blue butterfly and dogfish.

The biodiversity strategy was to provide a blueprint for how Northern Ireland could meet its local and international commitments to protect nature and ensure that the environment can continue to support people and the economy.

The RSPB said “instead, the strategy is coming to an end after dramatically failing to meet its goals of halting and reversing the decline of our natural environment.”

It calls for an urgent review of the biodiversity strategy, as well as the development of new commitments supported by law to ensure that action is taken.

Joanne Sherwood, director of the charity, said: “It is imperative that the strategy of the Northern Ireland executive matches both the nature emergency we face and the growing attitudes of the world. public to nature and wildlife in Northern Ireland.

“The failures of the NI executive to implement our biodiversity strategy and the failure to meet broader international targets are a wake-up call that things must change today.

“Nature is our survival system and as we begin to rebuild our economy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NI Assembly must play a leading role in achieving a green recovery and taking legal commitments to ensure the future of our environment. . “

Ms Sherwood added: ‘If people are not to endure devastating losses to nature in Northern Ireland – and the impact it will have on our health and our economy – the targets need to be enshrined in law.

“This will be vital as we work towards a green recovery in Northern Ireland.”


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