BirdLife Europe & Central Asia e-news, Vol III, Issue 11, December 2016
In this issue
 

Editorial

Angelo Caserta
Regional Director, BirdLife ECA

“It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.”
 George Orwell, “1984”
 
As 2016 draws to a close, and we contemplate our New Year’s wishes for Nature in 2017, we would be remiss if we didn’t give thanks for that which we already have under our tree.

Strong winds of intolerance and division have blown throughout the European and Central Asian region. Strong attacks to our natural sites and wild species, the lungs and hearts of our civilization, have continued. Yet, unlike Winston Smith, the protagonist of 1984, we stayed sane and we made ourselves heard. And in return, this December brought to us – and to the entire community of individuals, organisations and companies who believe in nature protection – a fantastic “gift” we should all be grateful for.

Europe’s nature laws are “fit for purpose” and need better implementation, the EU College of Commissioners decided on December 7th. What a successful outcome of the NatureAlert! campaign that the BirdLife Partnership, in cooperation with sister NGOs, launched two years ago to save Europe’s critical nature laws, the Birds & Habitats Directives!

This is a stirring win for all those who joined this amazing journey into democracy and evidence-based policy in action: the
520,000+ citizens, their mobilized Members of Parliament and Environmental Ministers, the European environmental NGO’s including our own extraordinary BirdLife partnership, businesses from different sectors, in particular the extractive industry, as well academics and think tanks.

A stirring win not only because of the immediate benefits for Nature, but, more broadly, because as we face the current anxieties of European unity and implicit challenges to her integrity and her democratic bona-fides, we see that when the people mobilize, our government does listen – and that we must not despair.

Of course, we do not stop here – tough work still lies ahead. We need to come forward with strong proposals for how the Commission can better implement and enforce the laws we fought so hard to save. Taking advantage of, and reinvigorated by, this stirring win, we will “attack” 2017 and the formidable challenges ahead, in the clear and certain knowledge that Civil Society CAN and DOES make a difference if we work together and include other sectors, other views, other legitimate interests.


Rainer Maria Rilke, in his Letters to a Young Poet, says:

If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”

We stayed close to nature and we got a great and immeasurable return. So I wish you all a 2017 close to nature and to enjoy the great things and emotions that it offers every day.
 
News from Europe and Central Asia
VICTORY! All for Nature, Nature for All.
By BirdLife ECA
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree 
By Danny Heptinstall

 
Save the Macaronesian Sparrowhawk By Catia Gouveia
Dirty Day for Europe's Clean Dream By Sini Eräjää
 
Permission to Come Aboard Captain! By Bruna Campos & Marguerite Tarzia
The Quarry Life Award 2016 By Boris Barov
Azores Glory - Europe's most threatened songbird rebounds By Alex Dale
Events

20-29 January, 2017: International Green Week, Berlin, Germany.

20 January, 2017: Conference - Cork 2.0 Declaration - From Reflection to Action, Brussels, Belgium. Registration closes on 13th January, 2017. 
 
Jobs & Opportunities with BirdLife
 
Volunteer – Legal & Risk Management: We are looking for a volunteer to help with the Legal and Risk Function. This is an exciting opportunity for someone to join this unique organisation in their headquarters in Cambridge housed within the David Attenborough Building alongside ten other conservation organisations. This person will assist with contractual and legal matters and carry our research relating to funding arrangements, data protection, charity and company operating structures across an international organisation. They will undertake related administration, and update and maintain a contracts database as directed.
Closing date: 6 January 2017

 
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Copyright © 2016 Stichting BirdLife Europe | All rights reserved
Responsible editor: Angelo Caserta
   This publication receives its support from the European Commission and the RSPB
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