While individual conservation projects are vital to safeguarding specific species or sites, our environmental laws and policies set the wider framework into which all conservation efforts fit. Ensuring that our legislation and environmental policies create a system whereby biodiversity protection is enhanced and mainstreamed, is essential if conservation actions are to have far reaching positive impacts. Influencing legislation and policy is often not easily achieved, but if successful, has the power to alter entire sectors, whether through biodiversity finance incentives that reward conservation commitment or prohibitive laws that hold environmental abusers to account.
For BirdLife, Policy means “the national, regional and global legislation, priorities, programmes and institutional arrangements that impact on birds and biodiversity”. There exist numerous policy focal areas that align with different sectors or topics such as conservation finance, protected areas, agricultural policies, and corporate accountability and transparency.
Yet, even with detailed legislation and robust policy commitments, deliberate intervention, namely advocacy work, is needed to ensure genuine implementation. And this is where policy and advocacy work hand-in-hand to create the framework for biodiversity conservation and its proper implementation.