A new ‘Natural Resources’ policy has been published, the second major milestone in the implementation of the ground-breaking Environment Wales Act.
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, and Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths says the policy sets out three national priorities for the management of the nation’s natural resources.
The strategy will “drive delivery across all our wellbeing goals to benefit communities and our economy, as well as improving the environment”.
The priorities are:
l the delivery of nature-based solutions
l increasing renewable energy and resource efficiency; and
l taking a place-based approach.
The Cabinet Secretary said focusing efforts on key areas “will allow us to directly address the challenges affecting our natural resources and realise the many benefits they provide for our well-being and prosperity as a nation, which is now all the more important as we define a new place for Wales in the world post-Brexit”.
She explained: “Everyone has a stake in our natural resources and a role to play in ensuring these resources are sustainably managed.
“In Wales, with our abundant natural resources and beautiful landscapes, we are fortunate.
“At the heart of our wellbeing, they support our health, our livelihoods and our vibrant culture.
“But we cannot take this for granted. Climate change, the decline of biodiversity and our ecosystems and other factors are already driving change, with very real consequences for our communities.
“Working with nature and being more efficient with our natural resources has crucial benefits – less pollution, less waste and less impact.
“Managing them to best effect can play an important role in supporting our communities and future competitiveness, creating jobs and new business opportunities in Wales.
“Ultimately, it is only by working together that we can implement the national priorities in the context of local needs and opportunities.”
The Natural Resources policy will drive action across the whole of government.
The Cabinet Secretary will be undertaking a range of visits that demonstrate the breadth of application of the NRP and its priorities across farming, energy production and marine and fisheries.