A new dawn for wildlife

Friday 5th February 2016

Photo by Emma Bradshaw

Wildlife Trusts Wales is delighted that a new Environment (Wales) Act was voted for by the Welsh Assembly this week.

The Act, which will apply to all Welsh Ministers and public bodies, will put in place a framework to support biodiversity to continue to protect our species, habitats and ecosystems to continue to provide these services. In summary, it will:

• provide a requirement for public authorities to maintain and enhance biodiversity
• help Wales do its bit to combat dangerous climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050.
• protect internationally important wildlife in Wales’s marine environment
• allow the money raised from carrier bags to be used to protect the environment
• improve waste management processes
• clarify the law in relation to shellfisheries management and marine licensing.
• clarify the law for other environmental regulatory regimes including flood risk management and land drainage. 

The Act recognises that the natural environment is important for its own sake but also has a critical role to play in supporting our mental and physical health, Wales’s tourism industry and providing essential services such as soil formation and the water cycle.

Wildlife Trusts Wales is one of a number of environmental organisations, working within Wales Environment Link, who for over three years has campaigned for a strong and coherent Environment (Wales) Act. 

Rachel Sharp, Chief Executive of Wildlife Trusts Wales, said:

“We congratulate and thank the Welsh Government and Assembly Members for passing the new Environment (Wales) Act which will move Wales towards being a sustainable nation. 

“Working collectively with partners within Wales Environment Link has proved effective in shaping this legislation for the Welsh people and the environment. Wildlife Trusts Wales is very proud to have been a part of this process.”

"For our part, the Wildlife Trusts in Wales will actively promote the links between nature and the welfare and livelihoods of future generations!”