Speak up for nature's recovery in Northern Ireland

Nature is capable of extraordinary recovery - if we give it a chance.

Speak up now to secure an ambitious Environment Strategy for Northern Ireland and help bring back wildlife. 

A new Environment Strategy is being developed, with a public consultation led by DAERA (the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs). It's a great chance to influence the future for nature in Northern Ireland! 

In 2016, the ‘State of Nature’ report showed that Northern Ireland is the most nature-depleted part of the UK, and that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Sadly, the latest 2019 report shows no let-up in loss of wildlife. Most original habitats have gone and natural ecosystems are fragmented. One in five of our species face extinction in Northern Ireland.

Complete the form to respond to the strategy. 

Like you, we believe that wildlife and wild places are valuable for their own sake and vital for our well-being and survival. There needs to be a plan that will safeguard our natural life-support systems and that reflects the true value of nature to our well-being, while recognising the urgency of the transformative change required.  

Back a Nature Recovery Network for Northern Ireland 

Please send a response to the consultation to help back our calls, you can also add your personal views too. 

The draft Environment Strategy includes some good first steps, but we believe it needs to be much stronger to make a long term impact. DAERA is also asking people to share their 'big ideas' that could lead to better environmental protection in future. 

With nature in such a critical condition, we believe the best 'big idea' is to put nature into recovery by establishing a Nature Recovery Network.

DAERA needs to hear your views about the future for our wildlife and wild spaces, and we especially want DAERA to know that you agree with our 'big idea' around putting nature into recovery too. 

Simply complete the form to take part before 23 December

Need to know more first? Watch Sir David Attenborough explain our vision, and click in the box below for further details about a Nature Recovery Network and why it is important. 

 

Why is this important? > read more

We believe a Nature Recovery Network, set  in law, could be the solution to the devastating decline in wild places and healthy wildlife populations happening today.  

Our aim is to put space for nature at the heart of our farming and planning systems; to bring nature into the places where most people live their daily lives. Read more on our blog

Locally, Nature Recovery Maps should be produced to inform future planning - turning nature’s recovery from an aspiration to a reality. 

As part of nature’s recovery, we would also like to see the following included in the Environment Strategy:

  • Farming subsidies should provide an incentive for farmers to farm in a way that helps protect the environment and support the objectives of the Strategy. 
  • Truly sustainable fisheries regulations to ensure recovery of our wild fish populations.
  • Embed a ‘biodiversity net gain’ principle for housing and infrastructure developments – putting in place planning policies that make it mandatory for new developments to leave biodiversity in a better state than before.
  • Take action on the climate crisis – we need plans to accelerate the decarbonisation of our economy particularly by investing in nature-based solutions including a significant increase in native tree planting and peatland restoration.
  • Include environmental awareness as part of the school’s curriculum and provide funding to make it easier for schools to take pupils on regular trips to natural spaces.   
  • Commitment to an independent 'watchdog' body for Northern Ireland to scrutinise government progress, and sufficient resources and funding to implement the plan fully.

Overall, the six proposed outcomes are a step in the right direction but need to be underpinned by measurable, binding targets. We want to see biodiversity loss not only halted but reversed, with wide-scale recovery of nature evidenced by 2030.

 

Respond today

Use the form to respond to this important consultation. We've set out key points about nature's recovery in the message already, why not add in your own views about why this is important too - your comments will be included in your response on the next page.

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Nature scene in silhouette