After my guest blog for the RSPB, I noticed very little engagement. Is it too complex to talk about? Or, due to partisan turf wars over ‘owning’ curlew’s recovery, we all risk letting it slip below critical recovery?
I’ve had some frank responses to my concerns -:
“I know what ***** are doing nationally and with local partners. The appeal page seems more targeted at politics, than science or action. There is plenty of room for suspicious people to avoid collaboration – we need more endorsements from people whose first inclination is to trust people.”
“I once put out informal feelers to a wildlife charity and a countryside group about a joint statement to government on ‘natural connection’. They both thought I was nuts. As both have too many supporters who would rather resign than be associated with the other. So I ended up writing nothing.”
“The tribal thing runs deep – I recall a policy director of a well-known country organisation saying that publishing a joint report with us caused more resignations than a subscription rise”
Shall we let farmland birds go to the wall because of partisan infighting over blame and pathways to solutions within the State of Nature reports? Will curlews fade from memory because of failure to act ‘tough‘ on the ground? Do reintroductions stall due to stakeholders failing to jointly agree management plans?
I was once frowned upon for waving a joint RSPB/GWCT report (see extract above) in front of a Defra Sec of State. I eventually got this reply from Liz Truss. Persisting a few years later on the same subject, Michael Gove sent this response to my query on the matter of collaboration.
I won’t tell you what I averted at HRH’s private curlew conference in the middle of Dartmoor!
Come on. Even if we have different values, we can be braver on being less tribal, seek to build trust and reconcile differences to save more wildlife.
Pics of scientists and conservationists at a bird conf, a game fair, and a Royal wader event