Our Regulatory Principles

Our Regulatory Principles

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 places us under a duty to apply the principles of sustainable development in our work.


This means acting in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Reinforcing, and complementing this, is the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 that states that we must:

(a)   pursue sustainable management of natural resources in relation to Wales, and

(b)   apply the principles of sustainable management of natural resources,

in the exercise of its functions, so far as consistent with their proper exercise.

In response to this, we have produced “Our regulatory approach to deliver sustainable management of natural resources – Our Regulatory Principles”.

These principles are:

  • Deliver outcomes
  • Be intelligent
  • Prepared to challenge
  • Use the full range of tools available
  • Be flexible
  • Bring the right skills / expertise together
  • Be efficient and effective
  • Be clear on what we do and why 

In order to deliver the aspirations of the sustainable management of natural resources, we believe that:

  • Regulation is more than the application of the law;
  • Formal regulation (underpinned by the law) can contribute to delivery of sustainable management of natural resources and well-being, but the pressures on our natural environment show this is not the whole solution;
  • The solution is about doing something – intervening and regulating actions and behaviours, and means doing things and looking at problems differently;
  • We need to understand the impact of our behaviours, as well as understanding the behaviours of others; and
  • We need to recognise our limitations and constraints, and value the benefit of collaboration to deliver the wider objectives for Wales – it’s not just about looking at what we, NRW, can do – it is what we, Wales, can do

We use our Regulatory Principles to guide our regulatory approach to the sustainable management of natural resources and deliver well-being outcomes. Regulation is about doing something, a clear ‘intervention’ that makes a difference. In the delivery of this, we remain committed to the applications of the principles of good regulation, and to our commitments under the Regulators’ Code.

If you have any comments or wish to discuss our Regulatory Principles with us, please contact us on: regulatory.principles@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

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