At this time of year I usually do a video mash up of things that have gone on over the last 12 months, but this time round I have decided to look forwards instead of back. Partly because I don't think wildlife had a particular good year in 2015.
So this time round I thought I would offer a few of my thoughts/predictions for the coming year 2016. So in no particular order:
I think it's going to be a tough year for wildlife/conservation organisations, as getting money will be harder than ever. NGOs will probably find themselves needing to work closer together to try and make things happen through more shared projects. One thing for sure is that technology and citizen science work really well and conservation volunteers will become more important than ever.
Social media will be absolutely massive, but video and live streamed messages will be used so much more and become more important as video does engage people more than text. There are already several tools to stream live video messaging such as Twitter's Periscope. Imagine receiving live streamed video of protests, rare birds, more weasel peckers, promoting special science, evidence of an actual wildlife crime happening, Hen Harrier day, NGO conferences, speeches - the list is endless. The really great thing about live streaming is it's not from one person to another, it's from one person to potentially thousands ...... instantly. It would be really nice to have a live video message from the CEOs of the main NGOs every month or so. No pressure though CEOs!
Media Coverage of Wildlife
Wildlife will be even less in the news, as its not seen by the media or by politicians as high up the "action required" list. Massive cuts to The BBC and the loss of the interactive red button will put pressure on new and existing natural history programmes.
Springwatch/Autumnwatch/Winter Watch could very easily disappear next year. Seems impossible to believe as a nature lover, but is it too expensive to run for just a few days every year? For me some of the best bits are the live cameras on the red button and this will all go for sure.
Media Coverage of Climate
Climate will feature more in the news and 2016 will be the warmest on record. (Will all this wet/mild weather affect the birds breeding season; for some probably yes). After the Paris Climate change talks where 200 nations agreed a plan, I think the countries will just carry on just as they were regardless, as who's monitoring who and what they said they would do? We all need to remind them and I will continue to push the "think 500 years ahead not 5 years ahead" campaign.
Did 2015 go quick for you? It did for me and 2016 will be even faster (not really) but everybody tells me as you get older the years go quicker. Anyway, before you know it, 2016 will be gone and you will be making a choice on whether we are "in" or "out" of Europe. So I guess we better get thinking about it. What happens to any wildlife laws if we come out of Europe? I've no idea, but does that give those in power the chance to start a fresh and make new laws? If so, will they be thinking 500 years ahead?
I think the awareness message will continue to build strongly in 2016. Next year will see the highest numbers of raptors satellite tagged thanks to more business funding from companies like Lush and Ecotricity, but it is always the public awareness that will make a big difference, so imagine the awareness levels if we can all track the progress of all of 2016's fledglings.
These are just a few predictions from me and I will be revisiting many of these themes in my blog during 2016. But over to you now, what are your predictions for 2016?