RSPB State of Nature 2023 report yet another stark reminder of the danger our natural environment is in, says Blair

Alliance Environment spokesperson John Blair MLA was speaking after the RSPB published their most recent State of Nature report, which places Northern Ireland amongst the most nature-depleted countries on Earth. 

Environment John Blair

The South Antrim MLA has said: "As if the current crisis we have been facing in recent months with blue-green algal blooms in Lough Neagh and other areas across Northern Ireland is not a sharp enough wake-up call, the publication of RSPB's State of Nature report highlights yet again the devastating condition of our species population, habitats and ecosystems.


"The report has highlighted that 12% of our species are being threatened with extinction, with the European eel being one of the species identified. Additionally, the area of certified woodland has decreased in Northern Ireland despite increasing in England, and around half of our protected areas are in an unfavourable condition.


“Northern Ireland has so many natural assets, but if we continue this trend, we will cause irrevocable damage. As stated in the report, we know what needs to be done, and there are many opportunities for restoration and recovery, but we must act quicker.


"Urgent movement from DAERA on its nature recovery strategy is essential. When I last sought an update from the Department in June I was told a draft strategy would be published in autumn, and I will continue to press for this timely delivery. However, it is also clear that the lack of a functioning Executive only further contributes to the delay when it comes to environmental action. We need to get the Assembly back up and running and a minister in place to ensure vital progress gets underway."