SoNaRR2020: Stocks of natural resources are safeguarded and enhanced

Our assessment of SMNR aim 1

Wales relies on the Earth's natural resources for our well-being.

Natural resources form the basis of our economy. All that is sold bought or uses is or was a natural resource.

Natural resources are everything around us including the air we breathe, the water we drink, the rocks and minerals and all living things on our planet including ourselves. They are the basis of healthy, resilient ecosystems.

If everyone on earth consumed the same amount of natural resources as Wales, then two and a half planet Earths would be needed to support us.

Pressures

The SoNaRR natural resource registers summarise the current pressures and impacts on these natural resources, both within and outside Wales.

As our consumption grows, renewable resources such as water and air will continue to come under pressure.

Climate change, pollution and how we use the land affects how much water is available and the quality of the water needed to support life.

Air quality remains an issue for all living things due to the emissions primarily from transport and agriculture.

Peatlands are important as they store carbon but when degraded they release this into the atmosphere which further adds to the problem of a changing climate. They are drying out and eroding as a direct result of climate change.

Wales is using up natural resources at an unsustainable rate and hasn't met the aim of enhancing and safeguarding natural resources.

Opportunities for action

To achieve the SMNR aim of safeguarding and enhancing natural resources, Wales needs to move towards a regenerative economy. We have identified four priority opportunities for action:

Decarbonise

Ensure Wales releases less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere by burning less fossil fuels and retaining, improving and expanding habitats that help to lock in carbon deposits.

Improve land management

Improve sustainability of land use by changing management of agriculture, forestry and development.

Recognise biodiversity as an asset

Recognise that biodiversity is part of Wales’s wealth and that it should be safeguarded like other assets.

Address resource use and its impacts

Achieve sustainable levels of production and consumption by improving the efficiency and volume of resource use.

Download the full chapter of SoNaRR the sustainable management of natural resources - aim 1, stocks of natural resources are safeguarded and enhanced.