Who is BirdLife International?
BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations (NGOs) that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. Together we are over 100 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country or territory – and growing.
We are driven by our belief that local people, working for nature in their own places but connected nationally and internationally through our global Partnership, are the key to sustaining all life on this planet. This unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.
BirdLife is widely recognised as the world leader in bird conservation. Rigorous science informed by practical feedback from projects on the ground in important sites and habitats enables us to implement successful conservation programmes for birds and all nature. Our actions are providing both practical and sustainable solutions significantly benefiting nature and people.
How does BirdLife International work?
Each BirdLife Partner is an independent environmental or wildlife not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO). Most Partners are best known outside of the Partnership by their organisation’s name. This allows each Partner to maintain its individual national identity within the Global Partnership.
BirdLife Partners work together in a collaborative, coordinated fashion across national boundaries to build a global Partnership of national conservation organisations.
The BirdLife partnership has 6 Regional BirdLife Coordination Offices throughout the world and a Global Office in Cambridge, UK – together known as “The BirdLife International Secretariat”. The Secretariat co-ordinate and facilitate the BirdLife International strategies, programmes and policies.
BirdLife International in numbers
As the world’s largest Nature Conservation partnership BirdLife International has more than 10 million members and supporters.
This comprises 2.72 million members and 7.2 million people who supported BirdLife Partners in 2015 without being members.
BirdLife Partner Environmental NGOs worked with over 4,000 local groups, including action at more than 1,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas; and our work involved 1.9 million young people (under 18).
The BirdLife Partnership employs nearly 8,000 staff supported by 5,000 volunteers.
The BirdLife partnership has a combined budget of US$ 636 million as of the end of 2014.
BirdLife – the World’s Oldest International Conservation Organisation
1922 has been described as an annus mirabilis (a ‘miracle year’) for many reasons – literary, political and technological. Perhaps most importantly, it was the year that public radio hit the global airwaves. Suddenly, it became possible to reach huge audiences with new ideas and information and people began to take an active interest in the world beyond their provincial and national borders.
However, sharing ideas on new global perspectives can change the world only if people act on them. That’s exactly what happened at midday on 20 June, 1922, when a group of people from different countries met at the London home of the erstwhile UK Minister of Finance to found The International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP).
This was the world’s first international conservation organisation, as renowned Swedish zoologist Professor Kai Curry-Lindahl described decades later. It’s where the BirdLife International Partnership has its roots.
The visionaries who met that day included Dr T. Gilbert Pearson, co-founder and president of the National Association of Audubon Societies (now National Audubon in the USA); Frank E. Lemon, honorary secretary of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, now BirdLife in the UK); Jean Delacour, president of the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO, now BirdLife in France); and P.G. Van Tienhoven and Dr A. Burdet of the Netherlands.