Intensive land use which leads to habitat degradation is the number one driver of biodiversity loss in the world today. It is important that we call for sustainable land use practices, allowing ecological restoration to take place and vulnerable species populations to recover.
Agriculture and land use practices play an important role in supporting communities and maintaining a vibrant society in Ireland. Therefore, it is important to balance the requirements of our people with those of our wildlife. Many of the important wildlife habitats that exist in Ireland today have resulted from historic land management practices. Through the centuries birds and wildlife have adapted to the way we have used the land. However, with the onset of greater demand for produce and the introduction of heavy farm plant and machinery, the processes have become sped up and intensified. Many species are struggling to adapt to the speed of these new developments. Where natural habitats become degraded, these species have nowhere else to go and we have seen stark declines in many of our favourite countryside birds. BirdWatch Ireland advocates tirelessly for sustainable agricultural practices that leave enough room for wildlife. From bogs and heath to hedgerows and pasture, there is room for much improvement, to protect birds and biodiversity. In this section you will find out more about our work in advocating for better conditions for our wildlife.
Fighting for the protection of important bird nesting habitats at sensitive times of the year. BirdWatch Ireland were part of a coalition of environmental groups which opposed the Wildlife Act which sought to allow for the burning of vegetation in March and the cutting of hedgerows in August.
Agriculture and Climate Change
Agriculture in Ireland accounts for 34% of Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting our international climate commitments and mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change will require fundamental changes to how we farm. Our farmers and farmland biodiversity are part of the solution.
Through our advocacy work BirdWatch Ireland is on the front line to protect habitats which are important to farmland birds. The demand on agricultural systems is greater than ever before, resulting from increased pressure for more produce from the same area of land. These pressures are causing habitat degradation which is the number one driver of biodiversity loss today. We work tirelessly to ensure the agricultural policies that are implemented in Ireland are sustainable and nature friendly.