Guest blog by Ruby Free, Campaigns and Communications Officer, RSPB NI
On Saturday 6th November 2021, RSPB rallied its staff, volunteers, and supporters to attend the Global Day of Action rallies throughout the UK, and in Belfast, it was no different!
Hundreds of supporters joined RSPB for our call to Revive Our World, and joined what turned out to be the biggest environmental demonstration Northern Ireland has ever seen, with approximately 3,000 people standing up for nature and climate.
RSPB NI is a key member of the Climate Coalition, who arranged the march. It was inspirational to see people, from many different walks of life and from around the world, speak up about the nature and climate emergency and demanding that political leaders act to save the natural world.
In fact, our youth campaigners had an important role to play and led the march. They included author, naturalist and conservationist, Dara McAnulty; student and RSPB campaigner, Dakota Reid and mental health advocate, Lily Toorish. They took centre stage and delivered powerful messages to the crowds, alongside Belfast’s Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl and MLA’s from all political parties.
Together, our message was clear, we want to see Northern Ireland’s first ever Climate Bill passed through the Assembly this term. Currently, we are the only country out of the UK or Ireland without any climate legislation, the public are demanding political leaders act to Revive Our World.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared ‘a code red’ for humanity, which should serve as a wake-up call, preventing nature and climate breakdown must be the top priority for all legislators globally, including the Northern Ireland Executive.
Although everything we hear about the nature and climate emergency is worrying, it’s important to know it’s not too late and we can still make a change. This is a huge opportunity for Northern Ireland to play its part and design a future we can all be proud of.
This was outlined by our Director Joanne Sherwood when she took part in the TEDxStormont Countdown event this month.
To anyone that campaigned for us in the lead up to this event, came along and rallied beside us, or spread awareness on the Global Day of Action in other ways, we want to say a massive thank you.
Just like the seabirds that come together year on year, we too have strength in numbers, our voices are so much more powerful together.
If you're interested in youth campaigning and would like to start volunteering with us, or you are already a seasoned campaigner wanting to get more involved in RSPB actions, why not apply to be a volunteer campaigner here.
Let’s make us the generation that witnesses nature's recovery, let’s make this century the time of the green revolution and the point in history we revived our world and gave nature a home.
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