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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo





    Dec 2019 right left


    Tree Maintenance

    Sunday 1st December
    Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co Armagh

    Placemaking for a Healthier Belfast

    Monday 2nd December
    Assembly Buildings, 2–10 Fisherwick Place, Belfast

    The UKERC project OverCoME (Overcoming Conflict in Marine Energy)

    Monday 2nd December
    Waterfront ICC Belfast

    Visitor Safety Group Managing Informal Mountain Bike Trails Workshop

    Tuesday 3rd December
    Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Newcastle

    The Role of Energy Storage in a Sustainable Future

    Tuesday 3rd December
    CREST – Centre for Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technology – SWC, Lough Yoan Road, Enniskillen BT74 4EJ

    Building cyber resilience for small organisations

    Wednesday 4th December
    NICVA, 61 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GB

    NIEL AGM 2019

    Thursday 5th December
    RSPB’s Window on Wildlife, 100 Airport Road, Belfast


    How wild is wild? Rewilding the island of Ireland

    Monday 9th December
    W5, 2 Queens Quay, Belfast BT3 9QQ
    £5.98 – £9.21

    BES Science Slam 2019

    Tuesday 10th December
    The Black Box, 18–22 Hill Street, Belfast BT1 2LA

    CFC Carbon Quiz – BES Annual Meeting Social Event

    Wednesday 11th December
    ICC Belfast, 2 Lanyon Place, Belfast BT1 3WH


    Making Environmentally Friendly Christmas Decorations

    Saturday 14th December
    South Belfast



    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).