Team up for a century

A century ago something pretty special happened. In a London home a group of passionate and dedicated people met with a vision – to join forces to protect birds and nature around the world. They knew that wildlife pays no attention to international borders, that birds soar at will over checkpoints and walls. They also knew that sharing local knowledge and experiences can play a huge part in saving nature globally. Armed with this foresight, ambition and a dogged determination they began to put in place the beginnings of what we now know as the charity BirdLife International.

A Puffin stood on the edge of a rock looking inquisitively at the camera.
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Thinking big and small

It’s been a busy 100 years. From those humble beginnings BirdLife have grown to a partnership of 119 organisations around the world, including the RSPB. They are now the biggest international partnership fighting for nature. Science is central to all they do. With vast amounts of information and research to draw on from all over the world, they work with universities, academics, government agencies and other organisations to create robust evidence for nature saving action.

  • They identify the bird species at greatest risk of extinction
  • Work out the most important places to protect
  • Research the most urgent threats to address

They then plan the action required to tackle each problem and campaign for the policies needed to protect the natural world.

This is all big stuff, but at BirdLife’s core remain passionate local people fighting for the wildlife they love. Having boots on the ground in every continent is a huge asset – it means they can draw on local knowledge and expertise to inform those bigger international plans. This local and global approach has been a big part of their success.

In it for the long haul

Saving nature is not a quick fix and long-term partnerships are central to BirdLife’s work. Progress is sometimes difficult, painstakingly slow and peppered with setbacks. But by building strong, tenacious relationships between partners, BirdLife have had many nature-saving successes:

Group power

BirdLife is living proof that a small group of passionate people can change the world for the better. But you don’t have to grow to a global organisation to make real change happen. Today there are some great groups in the UK driving real change. These include Flock Together, a birdwatching collective for people of colour, and Birding For All who are working to improve access for people with disabilities to nature reserves and services for birding.

Explore more ways to save nature:
  1. Say no to the mow
  2. Eat chocolate
  3. Lend your voice
  4. See All The Ways
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