Set against the backdrop of a devastating global pandemic, 2020 has brought more unprecedented challenges than any other. It has changed the way we live and work, how we connect with friends and family, and forced us to re-evaluate our relationship with nature.

Roseate tern by Tim Melling (rspb-images.com)

Roseate tern by Tim Melling (rspb-images.com)


This year has taken an incredible toll on everyone's lives and we understand it might seem hard to look back at 2020 and feel optimistic. But despite so many challenges and pressures, this year we've re-discovered the joy of connecting with our local communities and witnessed the incredible power of people when uniting to make change happen. We’ve watched governments around the world, and here in Northern Ireland, take urgent and decisive action in the face of a health and economic crises. This makes us feel hopeful that when the same scale of action and ambition is applied to the nature and climate crises, we’ll see radical results that will have a greater positive impact on our lives.


Thanks to you all, we’ve made a lot of noise for nature and 2021 looks set to be even louder as we continue our calls to #ReviveOurWorld and secure better and stronger laws for our wildlife and habitats in Northern Ireland. So, let's focus on the good stuff and celebrate our campaigning successes of 2020:


Together, we gave nature a voice and proved that Northern Ireland wants a Green Recovery

LucidTalk opinion poll


Nature plays an important role in helping to improve our physical and mental health, and never more so than this year. But nature is in dangerous decline and during the last 50 years, over 40 million birds have vanished from UK skies - with 11% of species in Northern Ireland at risk of extinction.


To ensure that any action to recover the economy after the Covid-19 crisis also recovers nature, RSPB NI, alongside 40 signatories, wrote an Open Letter to the NI Executive in May calling for a Green Recovery that will benefit nature, climate and people.


But it’s not just our calls that the NI Executive needed to hear - your opinion matters to decision-makers. That's why RSPB NI commissioned an opinion poll earlier in the year. From this analysis we were able to show that 74% of people want new laws to better protect nature and three out of four people appreciated access to local green spaces during the pandemic. This demonstrated a clear public mandate for a Green Recovery and enabled us to put pressure on the NI Executive to act.


Over 100 of you met with your local MPs to ask for a Green Recovery

Environmental awareness raising at The Time Is Now Mass Lobby by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

The Time Is Now Mass Lobby by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)


On June 30 2020, over 100 amazing supporters in Northern Ireland joined thousands across the UK in a digital mass lobby. Alongside having a virtual cuppa and connecting with other campaigners, the goal of the lobby was to enable constituents to meet with local MPs and tell them why we must build a healthier, greener and fairer future after the pandemic.


During the eight meetings that were held in Northern Ireland, supporters asked their elected representative to advocate for a Green Recovery and challenged them to ensure that action against the nature and climate crises is central to their political decision-making.


Together we held the NI Executive to account over biodiversity failings