Assessing and managing our natural resources

The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 states that NRW must produce a State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) every five years, before the Welsh Assembly elections, with a “draft” report produced one year before each main report, to highlight emerging issues.

Whilst we are still gathering evidence for the second State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR), due to be published in December 2020, an interim report has just been published.

Sheryl Davies, Specialist Advisor, Environmental Reporting, explains what SoNaRR is for and how it will inform Welsh Government’s Natural Resources Policy.

“The State of Natural Resources Report is a report about well-being, how nature and people are integrated and opportunities to improve our environment for both nature and people. It is not a standard state of environment report, nor is it somewhere to highlight every piece of information we have on our natural resources.

It’s about painting a bigger picture of what everything means in a joined-up way. It is an assessment of the sustainable management of natural resources (or SMNR).

SoNaRR looks at the current state and trends of Wales’ natural resources (including ecosystem resilience and biodiversity) and uses this information to work out what it means for the well-being of people in Wales.

We consider where there might be opportunities, in terms of location, policy and management, to improve things and “build resilience” into our environment to help it function better.

We highlighted in the interim report that we need transformative changes to the way we live if we are to ensure that our natural environment will be able to sustain us in the future - such as creating a circular economy and improving our green infrastructure. 

We don’t want people to read SoNaRR as one long document. We recognise more and more people want information at their fingertips and so we will be providing the report in a way that is accessible to everyone in Wales on our website.

It is about integrated thinking, looking at the bigger picture and being able to move through different sections and thought patterns as you want to. The online report will include links to other sections, other parts of our website and other reports and sites available online.

It will also have a feedback function, so you can tell us what we’re doing well, what we can improve on and how you can help us to improve the report.

Welsh Government will use the report to make informed decisions on what the priorities across Wales are and where action is needed.”

Whether you’re in NRW, Welsh Government, businesses, industry, non-government organisations or are a member of the public – everyone can make a difference!

Whilst it is NRW’s responsibility to produce the report, it is up to EVERYONE in Wales to work together and do their bit to improve the situation for our environment and the people of Wales.

Individuals and organisations can feed into SoNaRR either directly ( or via local Area Statements (another product required as part of the Act to put policy into action) that form part of the process to implement the appropriate action in the right areas in Wales.



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