Nature and the Environment

We commit to leaving the natural environment in a better state, building towards the recovery of all possible habitats.

We will introduce a Nature Act to set a statutory duty and targets to restore biodiversity in both terrestrial and marine environments.

A long term National Nature Plan will set out a national natural capital balance sheet, with proposed capital gains and maintenance with spending and an independent auditing process clearly identified. We will invest in protecting and developing an extensive network of wildlife sites with a particular focus on improving existing protected sites.

We will increase the environmental enforcement budget of Natural Resources Wales. We will ensure fines are of sufficient scale to be a greater deterrent to pollution. We will use use new advances in digital technology to measure deforestation, habitat loss, genetic and biological diversity, the quality of soil, and the cleanliness of river and ocean water regularly and accurately. This will help us monitor progress and improve the effectiveness of enforcement.

Our Nature Act will also close the environmental governance gap created by our departure from the EU, by establishing an independent environmental governance body for Wales.

We will invest in developing an extensive network of wildlife sites with a particular focus on improving existing protected sites.

In addition, ensuring the provision of good quality green space within a five-minute walk of all Welsh households will be a government priority. We will use the planning system to make natural green spaces available in people’s communities as a basic right, which is necessary for our physical and mental health as well as for nature’s recovery.

We will improve and extend Wales’ marine protected areas and we will investigate the creation of a National Park of the Sea in Cardigan Bay and the Celtic Sea. Our approach will involve all stakeholders and be mindful of the sustainability of our Welsh fishing industry.

As a priority, in our first year in Government we will introduce a Clean Air Act for Wales to protect, in law, the health of our citizens and our ecosystems from pollutants in our atmosphere.

Funding to Natural Resources Wales and our National Parks will reflect the key role they have to play in tackling our climate and biodiversity crisis.

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