Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma

On World Environment Day, we of course think about the state of the world’s environment – but it is also a time to reflect on Wales’ part in this gigantic jigsaw. What can we do to save Wales’ environment, and give our biodiversity the best chance possible to recover and flourish?

There is one clear path that we must take to steer clear of this decline. That is to achieve a Nature Positive future:

Nature Positive will ensure we have more nature at the end of the decade than we started with, putting us on an upward path to restoring the health of nature by 2050.

Wales’ place in the world

The international nature conservation community are calling for a Nature Positive future to be a global goal, to be defined and agreed to by governments across the world later this year at the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15). This timing gives Wales an opportunity to show itself as a global leader by being an early adopter and prove it is still at the forefront of the fight against the nature and climate emergency, after being one of the first governments in the world to declare a nature emergency in June 2021.

Nature Positive is a far-reaching goal, but i’s vital to secure the urgent changes needed for wildlife. In the same way that we have seen for net zero and climate adaptation and mitigation, action towards a Nature Positive future must be embedded across all levels and activities of Government in Wales.

What needs to be done in Wales?

We are calling for a Nature Positive approach from the Welsh Government - putting nature and our climate at the centre of all decisions made – and being openly accountable in doing so.

We call on the Welsh Government to:

• To bring forward, with urgency, an Environmental Governance Bill that will set legally binding nature recovery targets and establish an independent environmental governance body for Wales.

• To set out in this Bill a duty that commits the Welsh Government to achieve a Nature Positive Wales.

• To ensure that the upcoming Agriculture Bill and new Sustainable Farming Scheme works for nature.

• To publish a Seabird Conservation Strategy and develop a spatially explicit Marine Development Plan to protect our marine environment.

• To increase public investment in nature’s recovery.

These five things are wholly necessary if we are to halt and reverse the biodiversity loss, we have seen by the year 2030. It is believed that we will lose one in six of our species unless we act urgently - we simply cannot afford for the 2020s to be another ‘lost decade’.

  • Perhaps one of the major causes of the decline of bird and plant species in Wales is changes in agricultural land use. In particular there has been a massive expansion of ploughing and re-sowing of grassland meadows with ryegrass, featuring intensive fertilising and cutting of grass for silage. This has occurred across the country, including in environmentally sensitive areas. Any strategy should feature the ability to regulate and control how agricultural land is used at a micro level, especially in environmentally sensitive areas. This could assist with the preservation of species such as Curlew.