Our global policy work
Why influence policy?
While specific conservation action projects are important, laws and policies set the wider framework into which all conservation efforts fit. Reform of legislation and policy, while often challenging to accomplish, can have positive consequences far more reaching than work that is focused on a single site or a single species. Even where strong policy commitments exist, advocacy and monitoring by civil society are often essential to ensure that they are properly implemented.
For BirdLife, Policy means "the national, regional and global legislation, priorities, programmes and institutional arrangements that impact on birds and biodiversity".
Often, these can be categorised conveniently into differing sectors or focus areas (for example, climate change, agriculture and forestry), which may be linked with one or more mechanisms or approaches that operate at differing scales. For example, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a vital international mechanism in which BirdLife is an active participant, while changing corporate practices, or influencing development bank financing are approaches to ensuring that birds and biodiversity are considered in decision making.
Our advocacy work seeks to influence policy and its implementation so as to help achieve our strategic objectives, for species, sites and habitats, ecological sustainability and people. This involves advocating for actions and targets which BirdLife believes are essential based on particular high-level stances, derived from our scientific information and data and our conservation approaches and methodologies.
The BirdLife Partnership
The BirdLife Partnership is working together on a range of global policy sectors, which includes, among others, forests, ecosystem services and migratory species. This work in different sectors is often linked, through, and with, multiple mechanisms.
Our policy work is grounded in sound science, ensuring a clear focus on benefits for birds and biodiversity, and for all the people who depend on their conservation now and in the future.
BirdLife interacts with a wide range of policy players at local, national and international levels, including governments, communities, agencies, the private sector and other conservation and development non-governmental organisations to influence decisions and actions to address the pressures and reverse the drivers of biodiversity loss, and to ensure recognition of the benefits of biodiversity.
We promote and encourage synergies between key stakeholders and policy processes, to improve implementation of international biodiversity obligations and guidance.
BirdLife Programmes and Policy
Delivery of the BirdLife Strategy is accomplished through nine 'Conservation Programmes' - each of these has a significant policy component, helping to implement and achieve conservation outcomes through science, policy and action on the ground.
Focal areas and policy mechanisms
BirdLife advocates policy change through a range of mechanisms and audiences, including:
- Multilateral Environmental Agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES);
- Regional forums (e.g. European Union policies and legislation on nature conservation - agriculture, fisheries, energy etc., the Africa Ministerial Conference on the Environment AMCEN, and CBD regional groups);
- National legislation, policies and plans;
- Commodity Round Tables (e.g. Round Table on Responsible Soya);
- Changing public and corporate opinion through casework and campaigns;
- Working with corporates (e.g. influencing and developing biodiversity safeguards, influencing Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility);
- Bilateral agencies, multilateral agencies and commercial banks (e.g. regarding biodiversity and social safeguards within lending decisions and development priorities);
- Other key meetings and processes (e.g. the Post 2015 development goal process, and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services IPBES).