A report is launched today which aims to secure long-term improvements in Wales’ habitats and wildlife.
“Vital Nature” sets out Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW’s) priorities for protecting and restoring Wales’ biodiversity, the variety of habitats and species and the ecosystems they depend on.
It outlines NRW’s goals and ways of working and a series of high-level actions and commitments up to 2022.
It also sets out how NRW will work with other public authorities as they play their part in improving the environment.
The goals include helping people, communities and businesses to connect more with nature, to raise awareness, understanding and interest in biodiversity and to make sustainable use of the wealth of opportunities and resources that the natural environment provides.
The goals also focus on improving the links between protected sites, to enhance wildlife and habitats and make them more resilient to pressures including climate change. They also include ensuring that the consideration of biodiversity is at the heart of all our activities, and working with others to support them to do the same.
Central to the report is the principle that everyone’s wellbeing depends on a healthy environment, which in turn depends on healthy biodiversity.
Launching the report at the Royal Welsh Show, Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of NRW, said:
“Despite decades of good work to protect the environment, many of our plants and wildlife continue to decline.
“We have to provide a healthier and more resilient environment for the species and habitats of Wales. Our wellbeing and that of future generations depends on it.
“This means being concerned not only with big, complex issues like air quality and marine pollution, but also small, precious, local things like a pair of nesting kingfishers or a fragment of ancient woodland.”
Ceri Davies, NRW’s Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting added:
“This is an important report because it shows how we can all work together to stop and reverse the decline in our wildlife, doing so in a way which means we can all benefit.
“Our biodiversity needs and deserves protection – but we also need to spread the message that we all benefit from it and depend on it.
“If our environment improves, not only does this help wildlife but it also helps people. It helps our economy, our society and our wellbeing.”