BirdLife Europe e-news, Vol XV, Issue 11, December 2015
In this issue
 
• Editorial 
• Looking at 2015
• Events
• Jobs

• Follow us
 

Extraordinary 2015

By Luca Bonaccorsi
 
No one expected 2015 to be such an extraordinary, intense year. 

Blame it on the Christmas spirit, or simply on the fatigue of a frantic season of work, but for once, we are tempted to indulge in a little optimism.

At least two events in 2015, listed here in no specific order, have warmed our hearts and will live with us in the years to come.
 
The first one, the closest to our daily work, is the success of the campaign to defend the Nature Directives. Twelve months ago, after President Juncker’s mandate to Commissioner Vella to “merge & modernise” the Nature Directives, it looked like a “lost cause”. Few thought that the often fragmented community of nature lovers would react with such vigour and lucidity, providing scientific evidence, engaging public opinion, lobbying powerful governments to stop the attack and ultimately overturning the leading narrative.
 
Last January, the Directives were “a burden”. Now, everyone agrees they just need better enforcement and funding. As Ariel Brunner, senior head of policy at BirdLife Europe points out, the legislative fight is not over yet, but the political, and “cultural” one is. And we won it, thanks to the massive commitment of the BirdLife Partnership.
 
The second and most recent one is the Paris Agreement. In a city wounded by the blind fury of terrorism and its message of death, world leaders found the courage to sign an ambitious, long-term agreement to defend life and fight climate change. An agreement that, if implemented, will take us into the era of “carbon neutrality” and could save hundreds of millions of human lives (and species). In the agreement, the role of nature and healthy ecosystems is strongly recognised. The 'nature narrative' has finally been embraced, the gap between conservationists and climate activists closed.
 
La vie en rose?
Clearly, it is just a very partial account of a complex year. Our campaign for nature (#itsmynature, #naturealert) is not over; its goal is more ambitious than the status quo. And no, the Paris Agreement does not solve all, since it has very little teeth when it comes to implementation. And there is more.

Nature is generally (still) doing poorly: because of agriculture, fishing, energy etc. All these issues and more are dealt with in our 2015 Reloaded issue.
 
So maybe we have not turned the tide yet. But when things looked really ugly in 2015, many reacted: voices were raised, feet marched and people rolled up their sleeves.

I don’t know what a (cultural, environmental, social) tidal change looks like. But it can’t be very different from what we saw in 2015.     
The European Commission has been alerted. Now for the hard part: making sure it listens and protects our nature laws. By Ariel Brunner
Decisions this year on the EU Energy Union and bioenergy lacked ambition. Then came the Paris climate change deal. By Sini Erajaa
Sea Alert 2015: From overfishing to bycatch, invasive predators
to pollution, seabirds are still threatened. By Marguerite Tarzia
Is the European Red List of Birds different from the IUCN Global Red List? Here's why we need two Red Lists. By Christina Ieronymidou
No deal to protect the seas, EU wrangles over details. A look back at Europe's fishy marine dealings in 2015. By Bruna Campos
How BirdLife uncovered the Mediterranean bird slaughter of millions, ongoing since decades.
By Willem Van Den Bossche
Farming flaws: Why 2015 was another poor year for EU agriculture and its broken system. By Trees Robijns
99% of South Asian vultures and 75% of European ones are declining. This year, BirdLife turned 'vulture vigilante'. By Ivan Ramirez
Is the EU on track to save biodiversity and the future of nature? The short answer is no.
By Sanya Khetani-Shah
Digging deep to find biodiversity: How ecological restoration of quarries is providing new habitats for species. By Boris Barov
Events
5-7 April, 2016: British Ornithologists' Union 2016 Annual Conference 'Urban Birds: pressures, processes and consequences', Leicester, UK. Bookings open 1 November, 2015.

11-13 May, 2016: The European Association for Zoos and Aquaria Conservation Forum, BioParc Fuengirola, Spain. The forum is now accepting abstracts for oral presentations, workshops, round table topics, posters, short movies and documentaries.

5-10 September, 2016: 20th International Conference of the European Bird Census Council 'Birds in a changing world', University of Halle (Saale), Germany. Abstract submissions open from 15 November, 2015.

1-10 September, 2016: IUCN World Conservation Congress, Hawaii, USA. The Congress is now accepting submissions for hosting a workshop, Knowledge Café session or training course at the Congress.
Jobs

Middle East Communications Officer: We are looking for a Communications Officer to lead on regional communication work in the BirdLife Middle East region and to use appropriate marketing and communication, and capacity development skills to enable the regional Secretariat to perform its role. 
Closing date: 20 December 2015.

Species Conservation Officer for Europe and Central Asia: The main responsibility of this person will be to coordinate the implementation of the Preventing Extinctions Programme within the Division, namely through the coordination of its main project: LIFE EURO SAP, ensuring its objectives and activities are achieved within the planned timeline.
Closing date: 4 January 2016

Species Conservation Assistant for Europe and Central Asia: We are looking for someone to assist the Species Conservation Officer for Europe & Central Asia on the delivery of the EU funded LIFE EURO SAP project on European Species Action Plan. This person will support the completion and delivery of Species Action Plans, collate relevant information provided from LIFE EURO SAP partners, support the Species Conservation Officer and contribute to the elaboration of reports and materials. 
Closing date: 4 January 2016

Head of Tropical Forests Landscape Unit (RSPB): The RSPB are looking for an energetic individual to lead their team implementing game-changing habitat interventions in tropical forest landscapes. 
Closing date: 6 January 2016

Africa Marine Policy Officer: We are looking for someone to lead and coordinate marine policy and advocacy work, initially in West Africa, especially through the Alcyon project, and to support strengthening of marine policy and advocacy capacity of BirdLife Partners in Africa.
Closing date: 9 January 2016

EAM RIT Senior Project Officer: BirdLife International is seeking to recruit for the position of Senior Project Officer (Monitoring and Evaluation) – Eastern Afromontane Hotspot. The main responsibility of the individual will be to provide technical, monitoring & evaluation, fundraising, communications and scientific support to the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the CEPF investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot.
Closing date: 10 January 2016 
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