The fifth edition of BirdLife International’s flagship State of the World’s Birds report summarizes what birds, as barometers for planetary health, can tell us about the state of nature, the pressures upon it, and the solutions in place and needed. The data paint a deeply concerning picture – nearly half of all bird species are in decline, with more than one in eight at risk of extinction. The pressures causing these declines are well understood, and the vast majority are driven by human actions. The challenges to conservation are escalating, and time is running out. The coming years will be the ‘critical decade’ to act.
Fortunately, birds also tell us what actions are needed to help nature to recover, and show us that conservation action works. The report details many examples of species being saved from extinction, populations recovering, threats managed and ecosystems restored. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is the world’s best and perhaps last chance to halt the loss of nature. This time, governments must succeed where they have previously failed, by translating their promises into substantive action. Our future, and that of the world’s birds, depends on it.
The Important Role of Land Trust Collaboration
As the report states, “We know what actions are needed to reverse these losses and to help nature to recover. Most urgent is the conservation and effective management of the global network of IBAs, particularly through protected areas, or where appropriate through other effective area-based conservation measures. Conservation by Indigenous Peoples or local communities, either within or outside protected areas, is important for many sites. Beyond IBAs, it is essential to retain remaining intact habitats and restore degraded ecosystems, including to enhance connectivity.” Land trusts have the ability to enact positive environmental change across their local landscape, but an even greater opportunity lies in their collaboration with other land trusts and conservation organizations to create a Regional Bird Conservation Collaborative or Partnership. Learn more about Regional Bird Conservation Collaborative on our Land Trusts in Action page.