Give nature a voice this election

Ben Hall/2020VISION

With the Welsh Government election just around the corner, here's what we want to see happen for wildlife!

Our Natural World

We can no longer ignore the fact that we have lost over half of all the biodiversity on Earth.

Wales has become one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world with 17% of species in Wales at risk of extinction. These are dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades – these insects not only pollinator our crops but also are the basis of the food chain.

The coronavirus pandemic has been linked to human incursions into natural habitats, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem degradation, which is enabling virus transition from animals to humans possible.

We need Living Landscapes

Find out more

Peter Cairns/2020VISION

We need Living Seas

Find out more

Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

People and Nature

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons; nature has been a source of great comfort and happiness for many people during the lockdown. Fewer cars on the road and grounded aeroplanes have helped to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Quieter towns and cities have enabled wildlife to roam more widely and allowed birdsong to be better heard.

People have been inspired to explore nature in their neighbourhood as they refocus on their immediate surroundings. Contact with nature has proven to make us happier, healthier, more connected to each other, more energised, and giving us an increased sense of meaning and purpose.

For others, lockdown will have been made all the more challenging by unequal access to nature, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and individuals. Both sets of experiences highlight the value of nature to our quality of life, mental health, and physical wellbeing.

The health of people and nature are linked.

Everyone deserves to live in a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world where they have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in their daily lives.

Will you Stand for Nature?

Join us to gain skills and knowledge whilst taking climate action in your local community!

I'm in!

Young people at a climate strike in North Wales

A Green and Just Future for Wales

All economic activity ultimately depends on services provided by nature, making it an immensely valuable component of a nation’s wealth. This is why the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report lists ecological destruction as one of the top five risks over the next ten years. Politicians, companies, lawmakers, and economists have called for green investment to restart growth after the coronavirus pandemic, saying fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity would rebuild stronger economies.

We must build back better and create a green and just recovery.

Investing in nature represents a huge return on investment and will underpin a vibrant, nature-rich economy and society for the long-term that will be more resilient to future shocks. It will also create and sustain green jobs and industries that are more secure over the long term.

People gardening

10 Point Action Plan for Natures Recovery

The path to green and just recovery starts with a plan to put wildlife back in our lives.

 

1. Safeguard nature

We need an ambitious plan to manage 30% of our land and sea for nature by 2030.

  • Introduce legally binding nature recovery targets to ensure that 30% of land and sea is managed for the benefit of nature by 2030.
  • Manage all publicly owned land for nature by 2025
  • Restore all nationally and internationally important designated sites, Local Wildlife Sites, and nature reserves to favourable conservation status by 2025
  1. Ban the sale of peat-based compost in Wales by 2021 including banning imports of peat.
  2. Ban the domestic sale of pesticides
  3. Set up a Non-Native Species Inspectorate to implement INNS regulations.

2. Government and nature

Our world-leading legislation is ambitious, let’s realise this!  

  1. Integrate biodiversity across government departments at all levels to ensure a nature-positive Welsh public sector
  2. Promote and improve monitoring and enforcement of existing laws and policies.
  3. Recognise nature role in addressing climate crisis through recognition and investment into nature based solutions
    1. Spend at least 20% of the flooding budget on nature-based solutions by 2021, increasing to 50% by 2024
    2. Invest 1% of the public health budget into preventative health care solutions by 2023
  4. Develop new financial models to enable investment into natures recovery including new green levies

3. Invest in nature

Adequate, long-term funding is essential for delivering the actions to restore nature and to combat climate change.

We need to create a Save our Species Fund to support conservation of some of Wales most threatened wildlife, so they do not drift into extinction. We do this by:

  1. Review and reform existing public expenditure and procurement so that perverse and conflicting incentives are ended
  2. Create a Save our Species Fund to support conservation of some of Wales most threatened wildlife, so they do not drift into extinction. 
  3. Develop innovative funding mechanisms for combine and target private, public and charitable funds

4. Celebrate Wales magnificent marine environment

The size of Wales doubles when we remember to take in our marine environment, we need to recognise this and protect it!

  1. Deliver an ambitious network of well-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2025.
  2. Invest in achieving Good Environmental Status in Welsh seas.
  3. Future fisheries legislation and policies should take an ecosystem-based approach to minimises the impact of fishing on important marine habitat and species.
  4. Ensure an adaptive management approach to marine renewable energy deployment to ensure no impacts on nature

5. Restore nature in our landscapes

Over 70% of Wales is farmed, so if farmland isn’t nature friendly then we will never reverse the loss of nature in Wales

  1. Introduce a Sustainable Land Management Act, which has the recovery of nature, tackling climate change and the creation of sustainable practices at its heart.
  2. Create a wider farming policy that embraces agroecological and regenerative agriculture.
  3. Take urgent action to protect the environment from agricultural pollution, by introducing general binding rules
  4. Promote efficient nitrogen use and safe storage set a target for reduction in nitrogen waste of 30% by 2030
  5. Create a Welsh Pesticide Action Reduction Plan that enables a 50% reduction in agricultural use pesticide use by 2024 and fully adopting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.

6. Re-connect people to nature

Public bodies have recognised the Climate Crisis it’s time to fully recognise the ecological crisis.

  1. All local authorities should declare an ecological crisis and act in their local area
  2. Creating more naturalised areas, such as roadside nature reserves
  3. Create 20% tree cover and green roofs and walls in our towns and cities
  4. Requiring local authorities to create new, high quality, high biodiversity, parks for everyone
  5. Limiting the use of pesticides (with exceptions for invasive non-native) by introducing non-chemical alternatives within 3 years.

7. Create healthier lives

Preventive health care has to be our future and nature has many of the answers!

  1. Introduce Green Prescribing to promote active lifestyles which encourage physical and mental wellbeing.
  2. Legislate for a Clean Air Act in Wales to address all formers of air pollution.
  3. Introduce General Binding Rules and regulations to halt the water pollution in Wales

8. New National Forest

Wales is rich in woodlands and even has its own rainforest, but these must be safeguarded and linked together.

  1. Deliver a significant expansion in Wales native woodlands including ancient woodlands and Atlantic oak woodlands known as ‘Wales rainforests’,
  2. Review woodland grant schemes to support the expansion of farm woodlands, hedgerows and natural regeneration.
  3. Recognise the management of new and existing woodlands through the provision of advice to land managers.

9. New innovative Green Recovery

People reconnected with nature in lockdown let’s make this part of our future lives!

  1. Only promote green industries which enhance, rather than damage, the environment.
  2. Fund large-scale green infrastructure projects that create green jobs.
  3. Create a Green Workforce through a National Nature Service
  4. Develop a programme of nature rich urban green space provision that seeks to increase connectivity of habitats

10. Ensure a better future for nature

Existing safeguards could be lost; Wales needs the same if not better environmental legislation after Brexit!

  1. Introduce a strong environmental governance body that is free and accessible to all citizens
  2. Develop human-rights based regulation that protects people’s right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and protects nature.
  3. Embed the precautionary principle, the prevention principle, the rectification at source principle, the polluter pays principle into Welsh primary legislation.
  4. Maintain and strengthen environmental, animal welfare and food safety standards for Wales.

So what can you do?

In 2021 the people of Wales will choose the next Welsh Government. The new global targets set in China will be translated into Welsh specific ones. It is vital that the next Welsh Government is nature positive and puts addressing the climate and ecological emergencies at the heart of government.

You can help make this happen by asking parties to:

Commit to restoring 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030

Commit to resetting the balance for nature – give more to nature (e.g planting flower-rich road verges), than we take away (e.g stop using pesticides)