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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo

The laws and governance that protect nature in Northern Ireland are under grave threat. While the UK Government has stated its intention to ensure the same laws governing the environment will apply after we leave the EU, some of the key principles underpinning environmental protection have been quietly left out of withdrawal plans. This leaves the environment vulnerable to future threats such as unsustainable development, pollution and biodiversity loss.

Nature Matters NI is campaigning to ensure that we achieve the best Brexit possible for the environment. We believe that the UK Government must make good on its commitments to nature and ensure that the laws and governance that protect the environment are at least as strong if not stronger when we leave the EU.

We are campaigning to:

  • Maintain all existing legislation for species, habitats, protected areas, and the wider environment – this must be consistent with international best practice and aimed at reversing the shocking loss of biodiversity in Northern Ireland.
  • Ensure we have strong and accountable environmental governance in Northern Ireland – this must replace the European Commission and European Court of Justice and guarantee that the laws we have are enforced.
  • Maintain and extend the network of protected sites – these sites are needed to reach the global target of ensuring at least 17% of our land and 10% of our seas are well managed for nature by 2020.

Northern Ireland has a unique and beautiful environment that is essential to our health, economy, and biodiversity, home to over 20,000 different species, some of which are under serious threat.

We have seen greater biodiversity loss than any other region of the UK. It is clear we aren’t doing enough to protect nature. We need a bold and ambitious plan for Northern Ireland that ensures future generations will be able to continue to enjoy our unique and special environment.

NMNI Nature & Environmental Protection Position Statement