Environmental principles, governance and biodiversity targets for a greener Wales

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2 May, 2024

The Welsh Government has published a White Paper setting out proposals to embed environmental principles in Welsh law, establish an environmental governance body, and introduce targets and statutory duties for the protection and restoration of biodiversity in Wales.

This is an opportunity to deliver a step change in the health of Wales’ natural environment and to close the gap in environmental governance and oversight that has existed in Wales since the UK left the EU.

In our response, we welcome the proposals and recommend that:

  • The independence of the governance body should be strengthened by giving it a ring-fenced budget, with Senedd oversight on the appointment of its Chair and board.
  • The duty on environmental principles should cover Welsh public authorities as well as ministers and be strengthened from ‘due regard’ to ‘apply’ or act in accordance with’.
  • Binding interim targets should be set, alongside a strong link between targets and delivery plans to help propel the change needed to restore nature.
  • The new governance system in Wales should be a cross government priority, properly resourced and informed by stakeholder input, with legislation passed swiftly in this Senedd term.
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