The protection of Northern Ireland's wildlife could be at risk when the UK leaves the European Union, a leading environmental group has warned.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds NI (RSPB NI)said it was concerned that quitting the EU would lead to fewer safeguards for natural habitats.
RSPB NI director Joanne Sherwood explained that with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations, "we are concerned that protecting and enhancing our beautiful environment will not be a high priority in future discussions".
Ms Sherwood claimed assurances would be needed for challenges including biodiversity loss and poor water quality.
"We would urge the Assembly to make sure its new Programme for Government is as ambitious as possible in ensuring that we meet the challenges of Brexit by thinking in new ways about truly integrating the environment, economy and health as well, as promoting more sustainable agriculture," she added.