Under the proposals in the Environment Bill, NRW will be required to produce a State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) every five years, which will inform the Welsh Government’s National Natural Resources Policy. This will set out how natural resources in Wales need to be managed in order to maximise their contribution to long-term sustainable development goals, as set out in the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act.
In the Environment Bill, NRW will also be required to produce Area Statements, which set out the priorities and opportunities for the management of natural resources on an area basis.
The Area-based Approach therefore provides a more local-specific context for the implementation of the National Policy. It requires a joint collaborative planning exercise - to agree issues and priorities in the area, to identify opportunities, and to ensure that existing mechanisms that impact on the management of natural resources work together to deliver these.
The Natural Resource Management trials were set up in early 2014 test practical ways of working for wider adoption across the organisation and work with external stakeholders. At their heart, the trials have been about engaging at a local level with a broad range of stakeholders, in particular local authorities, to: understand the issues; gather evidence; and look for opportunities for how natural resources can be managed in a way that supports environmental, social and economic prosperity. The focus has been on looking for different ways to tackle problems that have in the past been hard to crack.
The Trial Areas
The three trial areas are:
These areas are based on river catchments. They’ve been chosen for the broad range of issues and opportunities they provide.