Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
Wales’ natural resources and ecosystems are essential for our wellbeing. We depend on them for our food, clean water and air. They are fundamental to our lives and our livelihoods, supplying the vital raw materials that underpin society and are the backbone of our economy.
Natural resources are fundamental to Wales as a nation and we are committed to ensuring they are managed sustainably to deliver lasting economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits and key to achieving the goals in the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
Over the last few years, we have established a reputation as a world leader in legislating for sustainable development and we are determined to build on that. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will present many challenges, however, it will also provide us with new opportunities to pursue and secure the sustainable management of natural resources in Wales.
Our landmark Environment (Wales) Act 2016 introduced the framework for the sustainable management of natural resources in Wales. A key part of that is the soon-to-be published Natural Resources Policy, which will set out the opportunities, risks and priorities for the sustainable management of natural resources.
This Consultation Paper on Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, sets out a number of key proposals to continue our progress in managing our natural resources more sustainably. These will optimise the economic, social and environmental benefits from natural resources by aligning forestry, designated landscapes and access to outdoors legislation to the sustainable management of natural resources.
It aims to achieve better and smarter regulation by proposing a package of reforms covering marine and fisheries; drainage and water infrastructure and waste and local environmental quality.
I welcome your views on the proposals to identify opportunities to improve the legislative framework and support the delivery of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.