Wales needs new legislation to ensure its natural resources are managed in a sustainable and joined up way according to Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies.
The Minister was speaking about his newly published Environment Bill White Paper and said that the draft legislation would be key in delivering long-term prosperity for Welsh communities and ensuring sustainable economic growth.
The proposals have been designed to strip away unnecessary complexity in current environment legislation, simplify processes and plans and deliver a more joined up approach to natural resource management.
Alun Davies – “Wales’ natural resources – our land, air and water – provide the foundation for how we live and work so using them sustainably is not only common sense but also our best opportunity to secure long term prosperity, resilience and sustainable economic growth for Wales”
He said: “Wales’ natural resources – our land, air and water – provide the foundation for how we live and work so using them sustainably is not only common sense but also our best opportunity to secure long term prosperity, resilience and sustainable economic growth for Wales.”
“Our current environmental legislative framework is not fully enabling sustainable economic growth or recognising the impact that it has on social well being and poverty.”
“We need a modern legislative framework that recognises the value of our natural resources and the services they provide, and the need for us to manage them carefully for the long term benefit of Wales. That is exactly what these plans are about.”
The proposals set out in the Environment Bill White Paper would:
- provide a modern statutory framework for the sustainable management of natural resources through a new area-based planning approach
- provide Natural Resources Wales with the right legislative tools and new statutory functions
- enable improvements in resource efficiency, for example on waste regulation, to ensure Wales’ natural resources are used to best effect
- simplify and clarify the law in a number of existing environmental regulatory regimes, such as the management of shellfisheries and marine licensing.
The Minister said any legislation would be practical and proportionate while maximising opportunities to support jobs and growth. He also said the Environment Bill would set out a framework to prioritise natural resource opportunities and ensure we have the evidence to better inform sustainable economic development.
The Environment Bill is part of a package of measures that the Minister for Natural Resources and Food is taking forward to achieve a prosperous and resilient future for Wales.
This includes a new £6m nature fund to support practical action which enhances biodiversity, creates local jobs, empowers people to take positive action and delivers significant benefits to local communities.
The Environment Bill White Paper consultation will run until 15 January 2014. You can access the full White Paper here
The intention is that the proposed Environment Bill will complement existing and proposed planning legislation, including the new Planning Reform and Future Generation Bills.