What’s happening?

The Welsh Government is consulting until 30 April 2024 on a proposal to introduce a set of environmental principles and biodiversity targets into Welsh law.  These would impose duties on Welsh Ministers and, potentially, some public authorities in Wales, to consider environmental impacts in formulating and implementing policy.  Their success or otherwise in doing so is to be overseen by a new Environmental Governance Commission.  We’ve done a briefing note, which is here, for those who don’t have time to read the whole 83 pages of the consultation. (At a mere 7 pages, we hope you’ll find it consumes much less effort or time!)

Why does it matter to us?

The biodiversity of the Cambrian Mountains and its evident importance as a ‘connecting corridor’ between the National Parks of north and south Wales, is a key asset for Wales as a whole. Conserving the habitats which support our flora and fauna – already sadly diminished according to the State of Nature Report carried out by Natural Resources Wales in 2020 – is one of the primary objectives of the Society.  So obviously the Society wholeheartedly agrees that Welsh law should include clear environmental principles. Nevertheless, we had some reservations as to whether the proposed arrangements – with actual targets and actions to be included in secondary legislation and, therefore, potentially amendable at the 11th hour if it is looking unlikely they’ll be met – were sufficiently rigorous.  We also wondered whether the proposals recognised the need to conserve biodiversity throughout Wales rather than just concentrating on the relatively easier bits of the existing National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  So we’ve put in a response to the consultation, which you can see here.

What can I do?

Members may of course wish to make their own responses to the consultation, whether agreeing with the Trustees’ comments or otherwise.   You’ll find the White Paper itself, the online questionnaire, or a response form for download, on the government website here.