Welsh Government
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New plans to sustain Wales' natural environment

Plans aimed at ensuring that Wales’ natural environment is managed to deliver the best environmental and economic outcomes for Wales have been launched by Environment Minister, John Griffiths.

The Minister attended a launch event at Tata Steel in Port Talbot - a company already making good progress in reducing the impact of its business on Wales’ natural environment - to launch his Green Paper, ‘Sustaining a Living Wales’.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Minister said:

“Our natural environment here in Wales is crucial to both our future and our economy. That is why it is so important that we fully understand its value and manage it in a way that delivers the best environmental and economic outcomes for Wales, both now and in the future.

“The approach set out in our Green Paper ‘Sustaining a Living Wales’ hinges on us considering and managing the Welsh environment as a whole. This means assessing the many demands on our land, things like food production, construction and development, and tourism, and making the right decisions for Wales.

“It is about a new approach the puts resilience and diversity of our ecosystems, and the sustainable use of our resources right at the heart of the decision making process

“Not only would this new approach improve the resilience and diversity of the environment, it will also help to make the regulation of the environment simpler and more cost effective, something I am sure will be welcomed by businesses and environmental organisations alike."

The Minister explained that although the proposed approach was widely accepted by the International community, Wales would be one of the first countries to adopt it a national level.

The Minister added:

“The proposals set out in ‘Sustaining a Living Wales’ offer opportunities for everyone.  They would deliver benefits to businesses and land managers by making the system simpler and more efficient, they will benefit local communities because they will put an increased focus on local needs and opportunities and they will benefit the environment itself by ensuring more targeted investment and improvement that will increase Wales’ resilience to climate change.”

Sustainable Development Commissioner, Peter Davies said:

"The environment is Wales' largest resource and it underpins our future social and economic prosperity. Our unique natural environment and the ecosystem services it provides are of enormous economic value, as well as vital to support our wellbeing. Through the 'Sustaining a Living Wales' green paper launched today, we have a sustainable approach that allows us to work successfully with nature, maximising the benefits of our natural environment without depleting it for future generations.

"It is important for people and businesses across Wales to get involved in the consultation on this green paper so that the Environment Bill delivers strong and simplified environmental legislation that supports every community in Wales to prosper."

The Welsh Government is inviting views on the proposals set out in its Green Paper and whether they are the right ones to ensure Wales’ natural environment helps to deliver the environmental and economic future that Wales needs.

Related Links

Sustaining a Living Wales