Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma.

2019 saw environmental issues and nature’s decline take centre stage with inspiring strikes and protests aplenty and a climate emergency declared by Governments, towns and cities around the world.

2020 is set to be an even bigger year for the future of our planet with an array of important biodiversity conferences taking place where new targets will be set for nature’s recovery. But before we look to up the anti on what we’ve achieved this year, let’s take a look back at RSPB Cymru’s biggest year of campaigning yet.

2019 saw environmental issues and nature’s decline take centre stage with inspiring strikes and protests aplenty and a climate emergency declared by Governments, towns and cities around the world. 2020 is set to be an even bigger year for the future of our planet with an array of important biodiversity conferences taking place where new targets will be set for nature’s recovery. But before we look to up the anti on what we’ve achieved this year, let’s take a look back at RSPB Cymru’s biggest year of campaigning yet…

The landmark decision on the M4

It was the decision that we’d been waiting decades for. On June 4, it was announced that the destructive M4 relief road was not being given the go ahead. While the decision itself was enough cause for celebration, the fact that it was in large part cancelled due to environmental grounds made it all the more significant for us here at RSPB Cymru.

There is no doubt that going ahead with the diversion would have been catastrophic for the wildlife of the Gwent Levels. Home to rare species such as the shrill carder bumblebee and the water vole, the area also has many birds including the kingfisher, barn owl and the common crane. As well as saving the home of some incredible species, the decision has set an excellent precedent for the future of Welsh wildlife in 2020 and beyond.

 Global Climate Strike

On 20 September, we saw millions of people around the world take to the streets to call for a solution to the climate crisis, and we were there too! In a landmark moment for us as an organisation, staff joined strikers in cities around the UK to show solidarity and our support for action for nature. The global strike played an important role in building on the momentum which Youth Strike 4 Climate and other groups such as Extinction Rebellion have also helped to build this year, urging decision makers to undertake urgent action to address the climate and nature crises. In Cardiff, we were joined by young conservationist Dan Rouse who helped us capture the day on social media, making it a day that will definitely be remembered for a long time to come.

Let Nature Sing Takeover

Following the storming success of our Let Nature Sing single earlier this year, we brought birdsong to even more people on October 17 thanks to our Let Nature Sing Takeover. Almost a hundred businesses across Wales joined in on the day by playing birdsong, including Transport for Wales, National Botanic Garden of Wales, the Senedd, Techniquest and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

On the day we held an event for children at the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, giving them the chance to get creative while listening to some of nature’s greatest musicians. We also took the takeover to Cardiff’s Sŵn Festival the following weekend where we held a silent disco, giving revellers a chance to chill and listen to a different type of music. The UK wide takeover helped bring birdsong to more than five million people across the country, as part of our ongoing work to raise awareness of nature’s decline.

Improving laws for nature

As well as joining us to celebrate momentous decisions and take part in some landmark events, our campaigners also helped us take action and call on our decision makers to introduce important new nature laws.  

More than 1,000 of you called on the Welsh Government to ensure that our current environmental standards are continued and improved post-Brexit. This showed the Welsh Government support for improving the protection of our environment and environmental governance arrangements, should the UK no longer have access to the functions of the European Commission and European Courts of Justice post-Brexit.

Not long after one consultation closed another opened and we launched our e-action calling for nature-friendly farming to become the norm at the Royal Welsh Show on the 22 July with the help of Iolo Williams. Almost 2,000 of you responded, sending a clear message to Welsh Government that nature should be put at the heart of our future farming and land management policies and recognising the role that farmers and land managers have to play in reversing nature’s decline.

With 2019 drawing to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you that has helped make it one of our most inspiring yet. We look forward to joining forces again in 2020 in what looks to be a big year for nature and the environment – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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