What is Policy and Advocacy?
Policy very generally means the national, regional and global legislation, priorities, programs and institutional arrangements that impact on birds and biodiversity. BirdWatch Ireland’s position on a particular policy issue may have been (or need to be) explicitly agreed, or may be implicit in the objectives of BirdWatch Ireland’s strategy. Our advocacy work seeks to influence policy and its implementation so as to help achieve our strategic objectives. This may involve advocating a particular position, our information, or approaches and methodologies.
Through policy and advocacy work, we act to influence others who have the ability and power to protect and enhance the living world. We are working to ensure that policy priorities such as the protection of important species, sites and landscapes, and protection of the marine environment are on the government’s agenda. Birds and their habitats are an important measure of sustainable development and have a significant role in dealing with issues such as water quality, flooding, climate change and quality of life.
What is important?
It is important to influence the development and implementation of legislation protecting natural heritage, as problems arise in the appropriate transposition of European to national legislation, and in the implementation and enforcement of this legislation. Providing input to the development of current and new landuse strategies such as the development of renewable energy sources, agriculture, and aquaculture, is crucial to help avoid adverse impacts either directly or indirectly on our natural environment and get a better deal for birds and their habitats.
How we do it?
Working in partnership with NGOs and Government Departments is key to our work, as are submissions to consultations on landuse strategies, and lobbying.
We are the designated national BirdLife International partner for the Republic of Ireland, we support and actively participate in policy and advocacy work of BirdLife International to influence the decision making process of the EU Commission, Parliament and Council. We also work in partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Northern Ireland and other conservation NGOs and we take part in a number of NGO forums where joint positions on particular issues is effective. BirdWatch Ireland is an active member of Working and Educating for Biodiversity (WEB), of the Irish Environmental Network, of SWAN, and of the Environmental Pillar.