Europe and Central Asia
4 Feb 2011

BirdWatch Ireland appoints new Chief Executive

By BirdLife Europe

BirdWatch Ireland (BirdLife Partner in Ireland), Ireland's largest nature conservation NGO, has announced that Alan Lauder has taken over the helm as its new Chief Executive.  In addition to serving as BirdWatch Ireland’s Head of Conservation (2008-2010), Mr. Lauder has worked in Scotland as Regional Reserves Manager for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and previously  headed the British Trust for Ornithology in Scotland.  Mr Lauder welcomed his appointment with enthusiasm, also taking note of the challenges that lie ahead. “I’m incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to lead the organization, even in the tough times we face” he said on Tuesday. “People are suffering hardship, as is wildlife, yet wildlife is one of the things that can help see us through tough times. Appreciating wildlife is free, birds bring colour and movement and sound into our daily lives and I would argue our lives are better because of them. Our natural heritage is a tourist draw and birds are part of the fabric of that heritage. The habitats that birds depend upon are important too - saltmarshes and floodplains are our natural flood defences, rivers flowing through moors and forests, when in good condition, give us a source of clean water, flower-rich grasslands provide homes for insects vital to pollinate crops.” “It not all about what we can get from nature of course but also what we can do for nature, we have a duty of care to the biodiversity that we share the planet with and we ignore this at our peril.” Mr Lauder also spoke keenly of BirdWatch Ireland’s involvement as a BirdLife Partner, commending this alliance for enabling internationally collaborative projects such as Spring Alive to come into action. He also recognized his organization’s need to not only continue an alliance with BirdLife, but to further build its role within it. “As we develop, perhaps we can also become a supporting partner for a fledgling BirdLife partner, perhaps in an African country. After all, we protect our many migrant birds here that then spend much of their lives elsewhere.”

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