Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma
We all need nature – it provides our food, water and air, energy to heat our homes, green spaces for our children to play in, the wildlife that enchants and inspires us – we couldn’t live without it. But Wales is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, with 1 in 12 species threatened with extinction. Luckily – we have a huge opportunity to turn it all around and your voice is at the heart of it.
Andy Hay, rspb-images.com
80% of Wales is farmed, so the laws that govern farming have a huge effect on the nature we love and depend on. As we leave the EU, Wales gets to design its own laws that govern how we manage our land; taking into account not just farming but all the different practices that effect it, like forestry, nature conservation and water management. However, we stand on the edge of a change that could either do everything or nothing for nature – helping to restore it or pushing it further into decline.
If we get this policy right it could:
It could be a win-win for everyone - farmers get paid, nature is restored and people are healthy and well.
What we think about the consultation
Overall RSPB Cymru is very happy with Welsh Government’s plans. They want a new system where farmers, and other people who manage land, are paid using public money to restore our environment, bring wildlife back, and bring benefits to the public like clean drinking water. We also welcome Government recognising that, in the future, farmers need help to work together so they can change the way they manage land at the scale nature needs to recover. We also believe that helping farming become more efficient and reducing its carbon footprint is essential to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.
The only thing we are worried about is that the Government’s ambition to do this could slip as we get closer to the detail, which will eventually be turned into a new law. The reason their ambition might weaken is because farmers, worried about adapting to a new system, may argue to maintain the status quo, i.e. the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). But we believe the CAP hasn’t done enough for nature, in fact it is widely recognised as having played a big part in nature’s decline, so we want to see a new system that supports farmers and helps nature. We are already working with lots of nature-friendly farmers who are leading the way on how to run sustainable businesses as well as protecting nature and the wider environment, and we will continue to work with them and Welsh Government to share advice across the farming community about how this new approach will help not just nature, but farmers too.
To make sure Government holds true to their ambition, we’ve got to show them how much the people of Wales care about nature. That’s where you come in.
What you can do
You can take part in the consultation using our online action, which includes a pre-written email that you can send immediately or personalise. This is your opportunity to tell the Welsh Government you want nature to be at the heart of this new policy, so everyone who manages the land can do it sustainably and restore nature.
You can also sign up as a campaign champion, to hear about how your action has had an impact and see more opportunities to take action for nature.