State of Natural Resources interim report 2019: Introduction

Welsh coastline

Current challenges

In the first State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR), we recognised climate change as the biggest challenge to the sustainable management of Wales' natural resources.

Three years on from our first report and it is clear we face two large and interconnected global challenges: climate change and biodiversity loss.

The scale of climate change was confirmed in 2019 by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The 2019 report on biodiversity and ecosystems from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services described the loss of biodiversity as a threat of equal size.

The UNEP Global Resources Outlook 2019 identifies economically attractive and technologically feasible innovations and policy actions. These could overcome the resilience of our unsustainable production and consumption systems - provided we start implementing them now.


Governments and councils have declared both a climate and a nature emergency.

When the Welsh Government declared a climate emergency, Minister for Energy, Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said she hoped the declaration would trigger:

a wave of action at home and internationally, from our own communities, businesses and organisations to parliaments and governments around the world.

We have supported this by sharing the work we're doing to reduce our carbon impact in four areas of our business.


Across the world, campaigns such as the School Strike for Climate and Extinction Rebellion are demanding urgent action.

Tackling the challenges

These challenges can be solved if we act now.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasises that tackling the climate emergency will need changes to all major economic sectors.

Heavy industry, energy, waste, land use, agriculture, infrastructure, transport and buildings will need to adjust.

The UN Global Environment Outlook states that food, energy and transport systems, urban planning and chemical production all need new, effective and integrated policies.

Focus of our interim report

In this interim report we explain our method of assessing the sustainable management of natural resources.

We look in more detail at the climate and nature emergencies, identifying evidence needs.

We then propose economic and social solutions to these problems.

What SoNaRR can do

SoNaRR can be used by anyone looking to lessen Wales' impact on natural resources at the same time as we benefit from them.

SoNaRR helps to influence Welsh Government's Natural Resources Policy.

It enables progress against Wales' wellbeing goals.

SoNaRR is used by the Public Service Boards as they work across all public services in each local authority area in Wales.

It will be used by local planning authorities to help make local planning decisions.

It feeds into the development of Area Statements to drive our work locally.

Area statements, SoNaRR and Natural Resources Policy feed into each other

How we assess Wales' natural resources

Find out how we assess Wales' sustainable management of natural resources.

Explore more

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