We are delighted to have received funding from the Welsh Government to explore the potential of involving volunteers to increase our ability to engage with a greater range and number of nature policy issues throughout Wales. By doing this, we hope to improve the chances that nature conservation is taken into consideration in the Welsh Government’s new approaches to planning and decision-making at local and regional levels in Wales.

 The development of Area Statements, the review, revision and implementation of Local Well-being Plans and Local Development Plans are examples of where more engagement around local nature conservation issues could be built.  For example, if you’re concerned about the decline of ground nesting birds like curlews in your local area, then you could highlight this as a priority to be addressed under your local area statement.

We’d love to hear from you

You might think ‘But I don’t know anything about nature policy and area statements’.  Don’t let that discourage you, we all have to start somewhere! And remember, this is only a feasibility study, so we won’t be asking you to actually engage in nature policy advocacy at this time. What we want to do at this point is talk to you as volunteers and gauge your interest in doing something similar in the future. Questions we’d like to ask might include:

  • Would you like to engage in nature policy issues?
  • If so, what nature policy issues are you interested in?
  • How would you like to do this?
  • What are the barriers, constraints, or challenges?
  • What could we do to help you prepare? Would you like to receive any training? If so, what kind?

 

Saving nature through people

Volunteers are the life blood of the RSPB.  Across the UK we are looking to transform the way that we engage with volunteers to encourage and support participation in even more roles and activities to save nature. Building this capacity in Wales will ensure that volunteers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to influence decisions that affect our nature.

 The information that you give us will be extremely valuable as it will give us a clearer idea of the challenges and opportunities associated with involving volunteers to engage in nature conservation policy issues.  This is the first step in developing a powerful coalition of volunteers who can contribute their wealth of local and environmental knowledge, time and skills to advocate for policies that works to save nature.  

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