2015-10-19   facebook twitter rss

Welsh Countryside Needs an Environment Bill That is Right

CLA Cymru has warned that Welsh Government is at risk of rushing through the Environment (Wales) Bill rather than developing legislation that will truly benefit the environment.

Its warning follows the National Assembly for Wales' Environment and Sustainability committee’s Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill, which was published last week.


CLA Cymru, which represents more than 3,500 landowners, farmers and rural businesses across Wales, is supportive of the Bill’s objective but not of rushing through legislation that is not fit for purpose.

CLA Cymru Director Rebecca Williams said:
"The management of natural resources at a landscape scale is critical to the long-term health of the countryside and the rural economy in Wales. However legislation to achieve this shared ambition must be more soundly tested, otherwise the Bill could end up as an expensive and cumbersome reporting exercise both for Government and for land managers.

“Further work is required to consider how this legislation will fit with existing Assembly, Westminster and EU legislation, and to ensure that the intended environmental benefits will be achieved when the legislation is delivered on the ground.”

CLA Cymru provided written and oral evidence to the Committee in July 2015, highlighting that the Bill is premature.

Rebecca Williams added:
“The Committee’s report makes more than 50 recommendations, some questioning the objectives of the Bill. This demonstrates just how much work is still needed for this legislation to be passed and applied successfully.

“Natural Resources Wales is not due to report on its trials for introducing the Bill’s requirements until March 2016 at the earliest. The sensible approach is to examine what is learned from these trials before enshrining the approach into law.”


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