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    Oct 2019 right left


    9th IUCN UK Peatland Programme Conference – Peatlands: Investing in the Future

    Tuesday 1st October
    The Europa Hotel, Belfast
    See website for details


    Comber Greenway Task Day

    Saturday 5th October
    Billy Neill crossing at 9am, Dundonald or on the greenway under North Road bridge at 9.30am, East Belfast


    NILGA Changing Places: Planning, Place–shaping and Place–making in NI

    Tuesday 8th October
    Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen

    Northern Ireland Energy Forum 2019

    Tuesday 8th October
    La Mon, Belfast
    See website for details


    Citigroup Environmental Expo

    Thursday 10th October
    Citigroup, Titanic Quarter, Belfast


    Grass Roots AGM

    Saturday 12th October
    Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church Hall, Ormeau Road, Belfast


    CEDaR Training Course – Woodlice

    Saturday 19th October
    Crawfordsburn Country Park

    Maintaining a Young Hedge

    Sunday 20th October
    Kilmacrew House near Banbridge

    The Future of Food Packaging

    Monday 21st October
    CAFRE Loughry Campus, Cookstown BT80 9AA


    Inaugural QUB Sustainability Lecture

    Wednesday 23rd October
    Peter Froggatt Centre/0G/007, Queen’s University Belfast

    Water Framework Directive Stakeholder Conference 2019

    Wednesday 23rd October
    College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Greenmount Campus, 45 Tirgracy Road, Antrim BT41 4PS

    CEDaR Training Course – Grassland Fungi

    Thursday 24th October
    Magilligan Field Centre

    Enough is Enough – The Rise and Rise of Food Poverty

    Friday 25th October
    TBC, Belfast

    Scarecrow Festival

    Saturday 26th October
    Normal Admission

    Hidden Autumn Estate

    Saturday 26th October
    Adult £15

    Spooky Springhill

    Sunday 27th October
    Springhill Moneymore
    Normal Admission. NT Members and under 5’s free.

    Valuing Nature Annual Conference 2019

    Monday 28th October
    Royal Society, London



    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.


    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).