After my guest blog for the RSPB, I noticed very little engagement. Is it too complex or, due to partisan posturing over who ‘owns’ curlew’s recovery, we risk letting it slip below critical? This tribalism risks more than just a wading bird.
I’ve had some frank responses in private to my concern voiced above -:
“I know what _____ are doing nationally and with local partners, but I am not sure where _____ fit in. 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, but actually I was naïve. 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”
So do we let farmland birds go to the wall because of partisan infighting over blame and solutions within the State of Nature reports? Allow waders to fade from memory because of failure to act on the ground? Create havoc for reintroductions due to stakeholders failing to jointly agree management plans?
I was frowned upon for waving a joint RSPB/GWCT report (see extract above) in front of Defra’s 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.
Come on, even if we have different values, we can be braver on being less tribal, seeking to build trust and reconciling differences to save more wildlife.