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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Jan 2020 right left

  
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Wildlife Garden Work

Sunday 5th January
Derryanvil, near Portadown
Free

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Repowering Democracy? Community participation in the energy transition

Thursday 9th January
Canada Room and Council Chamber, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN

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Scrub Control & Path Work

Sunday 19th January
Balloo Wetland & Woodland Bangor
Free

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BIMcert – Reducing the Energy footprint in the Construction Sector

Wednesday 22nd January
Titanic Belfast Building, 1 Olympic Way, Queen’s Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9EP
Free

What can your business do to reduce plastic waste?

Thursday 23rd January
Northern Ireland Advanced Composites Engineering Centre, NIACE, Airport Road, Belfast BT3 9DZ

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Environmental Conservation Careers Fair

Tuesday 28th January
School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast

Delivering Sustainable Housing and Communities

Wednesday 29th January
1 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BW

Feeding the City 2020 – Ideation Workshop

Thursday 30th January
Loveworks, Macrory Centre, 130 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GL
Free

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Biodiversity

Biodiversity in Northern Ireland sits within a broader international context, notably the Convention on Biological Diversity which came into force over 20 years ago and its associated targets and the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

Biodiversity

One of the aims of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy (DoENI, 2014) was to halt biodiversity loss by 2016. A review conducted by the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group (2009) reported that “progress has been made with the processes and mechanisms of halting biodiversity loss” but “there is little hard evidence that the deterioration of Northern Ireland’s biodiversity is actually slowing down”. This is supported by the State of the Environment report (Northern Ireland Environment Agency, 2013).

Pressures on biodiversity in Northern Ireland stem from multiple factors including climate change, land abandonment, infrastructure development, invasive species and agricultural intensification.

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The State of Nature 2019 report has revealed that 41% of UK species studied have declined, 26% have increased and 33% show little change since 1970, while 133 species assessed have already been lost from our shores since 1500.

Examples of invasive alien species include Japanese knotweed, floating pennywort and Zebra mussels.

To date the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has declared a total of 360 Areas of Special Scientific Interest, 6.7% of the NI land mass.

Some habitats are particularly vulnerable to climate change; the risks are clearest for montane habitats (to increased temperature), wetlands (to changes in water availability) and coastal habitats (to sea–level rise).

There is strong evidence that climate change is already affecting UK biodiversity. Impacts are expected to increase as the magnitude of climate change increases.

There are currently 65 U.K. Priority Habitats, with 51 of these in Northern Ireland.

There are currently 481 Priority Species in Northern Ireland.

Since the 1950s, 41,000 hectares of countryside has been lost to urban development, with an unquantified loss of biodiversity.

The total land area of Northern Ireland is 14,160 km2 (1,416,000 ha). Approximately 6.6% of the land area of Northern Ireland is designated as ASSI for nature conservation, including earth science interest.

As of 31 March 2018, a total of 111,159 hectares across 394 sites have been declared as Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), 85,900 hectares across 57 sites as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), 114,600 hectares across 17 sites as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and 77,700 hectares across 21 sites as Ramsar sites (areas of wetland and waterfowl conservation).