The RSPB has been fighting to protect nature since we were founded in 1889. From stopping the trade in wild bird plumage and protecting some of our best loved areas from development, to saving the Nature Directives and securing new laws to protect our seas and climate – we’ve made a real difference with your support.

Now the world is facing both nature and climate emergencies more is at stake than ever before. We can still reverse the damage if we act now. We’ve launched Revive our World to help you demand that action from those in power. In the next 18 months there are many opportunities to make sure your voices are heard: the UN biodiversity summit in China, and climate summit in Glasgow; the UK establishing its place in the world outside the European Union; and national elections in Scotland and Wales in 2021 and Northern Ireland in 2022. The outcomes of these events will determine the fate of nature for decades to come.

While there are legal targets to tackle the climate emergency across much of the UK, we don’t yet have any to reverse the crisis facing nature. Climate targets have driven real world actions like improving home insulation, increasing uptake of electric cars, and the rejection of a third runway at Heathrow. We need to implement the same driver for action for nature.

We’re asking you to join us in demanding decisive action. This includes legally binding targets for nature’s recovery, and laws in each of the four countries of the United Kingdom that not only help nature to survive but also to thrive.

As the campaign progresses, we’ll be shining a light on the need for new laws for nature, binding agreements for action globally, food and farming systems that deliver for people and nature, and a green economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

This is an opportunity for you to join a mass movement of people who all believe the time has come to act.  A movement that the RSPB is a proud member of.

The RSPB has years of expertise in the nature and climate crises, and a wealth of understanding of the problems. This has helped us come up with some key solutions.

  • The UK failed to keep global promises to save nature because they were voluntary. This time let’s make them legally binding.
  • We have not protected enough space for nature on land or at sea, and we are not looking after those areas we say we will protect. Now we need to protect 30% of land and sea globally – and then manage it properly.
  • Where damaging nature is a crime, those responsible are not being prosecuted. We need independent bodies across the UK who can hold governments to account.
  • 75% of the UK’s land is farmed but farmers are often incentivised to farm in ways that damage nature. Public money must be used to support farmers to use more nature-friendly practices that store carbon, save wildlife, and clean our water and air.
  • Not enough money is spent on protecting nature, which after all provides all our resources and underpins our economy. Over the next ten years, a total of £2.9 billion needs to be spent annually across the UK on environmental land management (this is small in comparison to the £5.5 billion spent per year on roads).

It’s also important to note that responsibility for the environment is devolved across the UK and the approach varies across each country. But whether we’re talking about England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, the RSPB is ready with the right solutions.

At the end of August, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and WWF Scotland launched a Nature Recovery Plan calling on the Scottish Government to adopt 11 transformative actions for nature’s recovery. These actions, which span policy areas from land use to planning to marine, can be implemented by both this parliament and the one elected next spring to protect and enhance Scotland’s nature.

Later in September, RSPB Cymru will launch its five-step plan for a green recovery in Wales and call on the political parties to commit to it before the national election in 2021. The five Steps are: 

  1. Sustainable jobs and infrastructure
  2. Strong environmental protections
  3. Resilient and nature-rich land and seas
  4. Healthy citizens
  5. Welsh Government leadership

A green recovery plan for England will also be launched at the end of September at an event in Westminster. It will feature four key asks of government that will help revive our natural world:

  1. Put tackling the nature crises at the heart of all government decisions, securing in legislation independent oversight and accountability processes alongside ambitious and robust targets
  2. Commit to investing in a greener and fairer economy
  3. Create and implement a major recovery plan for our land, freshwater and seas, including a fundamental reform of food and farming policies so that they support the recovery of nature
  4. Reduce the UK’s ecological and carbon footprint through nature-based climate solutions (e.g. properly managing our saltmarshes and peatlands), and by securing truly transparent and sustainable trading arrangements and reforming consumption patterns

In October, RSPB NI will be calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to prioritise a green recovery and launching their ten-point plan of actions that the Government should adopt to create a true green economy that has healthy communities and a thriving natural environment at its heart.

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