How we are managed
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The stark impact of the nature and climate crises on our communities is now clear for all to see. From devastating floods, wildfires, and droughts to the threat of disappearance of our much-loved species like the curlew, there is sufficient evidence to ensure that everyone understands that these are emergencies in the very real sense of the word, and that urgent, transformative action is needed right now.
Set against the backdrop of the current economic and geopolitical uncertainty, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the task at hand. Yet, as these interlinked crises have moved up the political agendas globally and here in Wales, we have seen more governments, businesses and members of the public join the urgent call to action to halt nature’s decline and mitigate and adapt to climate change.
To this end our new Corporate Plan sets out our vision to 2030, providing clarity on what is most important, and guiding us through the inevitable difficulties that will crop up in the years ahead. We will need to show real leadership as we inspire each other, our partners, and the people of Wales to work collectively to take concerted action. I have enjoyed the discussions I have had with our staff at various visits across Wales throughout the year, and I would like to pay tribute to them for all their hard work day to day, and for the effort and energy they have shown in developing our blueprint for how we will work going forwards.
Having listened to our colleagues and to key partners and stakeholders, the plan looks and feels very different to its predecessor. We have taken a conscious decision to adopt a more strategic and integrated approach, focussing on how we work across our teams, so that working together, we can lead the response to the global nature, climate, and pollution emergencies here in Wales.
For me, one of the principal areas where we must drive improvements in collaborative working, is Water. As part of our commitment to improving water quality, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Welsh Government (WG), Ofwat, Dŵr Cymru and Hafren Dyfrdwy have established a Better River Quality Taskforce to evaluate the current approach to the management and regulation of storm overflows in Wales, and to set out detailed plans to drive rapid change and improvement. But this is a small step on the journey to ensuring that our rivers are thriving for generations to come, with a swathe of actions that must be taken to protect habitats across Wales given the challenges to come.
Over the last year, we have seen a number of changes to our board as members come to the end of their terms with us. We have sadly said farewell to Karen Balmer and Zoe Henderson, both excellent members who have made an immense contribution to our work. More recently, four new members have been appointed, with Dr Peter Fox joining as Chair of the Flood Committee, Prof. Rhys Jones as Chair of the Wales Land Management Forum, Helen Pittaway as Chair of the Finance Committee and Kathleen Palmer as Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. Both Mark McKenna and Prof. Calvin Jones stay on as full board members following their interim roles.
With the Corporate Plan developed and the board at full complement, we are now keen to get on with the job of delivery. I am confident that we have the frameworks in place to do this and do it well.
- Sir David Henshaw, Chair - 18 October 2023
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