Wales urgently needs new laws to protect nature
Published: 24 Apr 2023
After marching with almost 90,000 people (including over 500 from Wales!) through London for nature during XR's Big One, I feel hopeful.
And, as we watch Spring unfold, I feel we could be on the edge of something new - a new Bill to restore and protect nature.
Of course, this is something many of us having been saying for a long time but this time something feels different.
Nature positive campaign
Because the world has come together and said nature must be restored - for our food systems, to tackle the climate crisis, and for its own sake and our own wellbeing.
159 organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund and RSPB, are calling on governments to halt and reverse the today's 'catastrophic loss of nature' and to do what it takes to be 'nature positive by 2030'.
What about Wales?
Coal mines, sewage, forest felling, ocean stripping – my mind always thinks, why don’t we have robust laws to stop such harm in this time of crisis?
As far back in 2020, Welsh Government agreed to a establish a full independent watchdog to hold authorities and organisations to account.
In advance of the COP biodiversity summit in December 2022, the Welsh Government then committed to protect 30 of terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine areas by 2030 (called the '30x30' target).
Julie James said this would require "strategic, regulatory and legislative action.”
It's great to see these positive steps but now we need to push them over the line – to see a Nature Positive Bill enacted this year so we can get on with the work of living, loving and enjoying nature. Watching it flourish, working in it and alongside it, seeing it restored.
What are we calling for?
We are calling on Welsh Government to bring forward a Bill this year, in the 2023-24 legislative programme, that:
- Enshrines a commitment to a Nature Positive Wales in law, underpinned by legally binding nature recovery targets.
- Ensures environmental justice for the people of Wales by establishing an independent environmental governance body.
Time to apply the pressure
In May decisions will be made about what new legislation will be included in the legislative programme 2023-4. So it is time to act.
We are lucky in Wales to have such beautiful nature surrounding us, and we need to show the Welsh Government that we want it properly protected. For us and for future generations.
In March 2023 Climate Cymru made headlines as 300 organisations, from across Wales and across society came together in this call. Let us make it more – let us be 'unignorable'.
Add your voice
As individuals our voice counts. You can join almost 900 others who have emailed our First Minister with a quick click here – just ‘start writing’. A Nature Positive Bill can take us forward to repairing and restoring our landscape.
You can also read our open letter, see the signatories and add your group or organisation here.
We want 500 organisations signed up by 20th May when we present ourselves to the Senedd. Whether its our local litter picking group, choir, workplace, school, union or voluntary organisation – this is what will see nature win!
If you have some time to give – ask friends to write the email, reach out to your local groups and ask them to be signatories. Imagine if in every county, town and village a single person was joining the dots – asking ‘Can you add your voice to this call for Nature?’ That person is you. It’s as simple as a quick message, email or conversation. Nature is for all of us. It sustains all of us. It needs us all to have this conversation.
On the 22nd May we will deliver your messages, your voice (if you want to film yourself!) and your organisations to the Senedd and our representatives. We invite you to join us.
We are all working hard for nature, in our homes and communities – we are so close to seeing new laws to protect Nature in legislation this year, help us get there.
Nature won’t wait and neither will we. Natur am byth!
A Nature Positive Bill is long overdue – let us wait no longer.
I don't know about you, but I want our children and our children's children to be able to sit in a woodland glade in a cloud of butterflies and for them to be able to relish orchid filled meadows.
Let's make it happen. Contact David to find out more, or let him know how you can spread the word: [email protected]