Challenging times call for innovative solutions.
We all know that the environment in Wales is facing challenges – from climate change, declining biodiversity, the need to create and maintain jobs, and to generate energy.
We also know that we have a fantastic environment in Wales which can also help to improve people’s health, tackle poverty, and stimulate green growth.
Natural Resources Wales is working to make the environment of Wales more resilient, and to optimise the use that we make of our natural resources.
But we are also facing tighter finances across the public sector and we can’t do everything that we would like to. We have to focus our resources and find new solutions to the challenges we face.
This means doing things differently. For example, Professor Tim Birkhead’s successful crowdfunding campaign to raise £12,000 to continue his study of Guillemots on Skomer is a great example of alternative thinking.
We believe that it underlines the need for a broader conversation about how society funds this kind of work in the future. With less money available, we just cannot keep on doing everything in the same way we used to.
We must provide the taxpayer with the very best value for money and make sure that the environment benefits from every penny that’s being spent. That also means we have to make difficult decisions at times, which won’t be universally popular.
NRW cannot address these issues alone.
All of us working in the environmental sector - Welsh Government sponsored bodies, Local Authorities, NGOs, charities and individuals – share common aims and objectives. We all want to see Wales’ wildlife thriving in a healthy, sustainable environment.
We now need an open and honest conversation about how we can all do that within the current and future financial constraints.
But we are confident that by working together and providing innovative solutions, we can achieve what is best for the environment, economy and people of Wales.