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Solidify 30x30 land and sea protection target in law, Shadow Minister urges

In responding to the Welsh Government’s statement on nature, biodiversity and local places for nature, Janet Finch-Saunders MS – the Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change – has urged the administration to put in law the target of protecting 30% of our land and seas by 2030.

As part of her intervention, Janet also requested that the Welsh Government further develop the Local Places for Nature Scheme so that it helps Town and Community councils across Wales to cultivate for their community and enter Wales in Bloom 2022.

She also asked for scheme development so that it can be easily accessed by schools - and sees the areas around churches and chapels, often graveyards, become even greater nature sanctuaries and places to rest and remember.

Commenting after her question in the Siambr, Janet said:

“Fourteen weeks on from the declaration of a nature emergency, the Welsh Minister for Climate Change, and the Welsh Government that she represents, have not acted on the cross-party calls of this Senedd to introduce legally binding requirement to reverse biodiversity loss through statutory targets. “Whilst I am aware that the devolved Government has started assembling a technical advisory group so as to help develop key strategies, clarity must be provided for when they aim to have draft plans ready to analyse. For too long, vital detail on this most pressing policy area has been drip fed to Senedd members on too infrequent a timescale. "During the Fifth Senedd, I repeatedly challenged the then-Minister for Environment to come forward with substantive plans. Now into the Sixth Senedd, and the timeline for the establishment of a successor environmental governance body for Wales remains unclear, with this gap filled by interim arrangements which are different to formal oversight and enforcement. “We have now squandered the opportunity for Wales to be a world leader on environmental governance, with Scotland and the UK Government overtaking us on environmental protection. If the Minister is so committed to addressing the climate and nature emergencies, why have they taken the decision to wait for the First Minister or Counsel General to make a statement on next year’s legislative programme? “I was also most pleased to use today's intervention to once again urge the Welsh Government to commit to working to ensuring that future schemes for woodland creation will also reward farmers to deliver a wide range of public benefits from land, such as by planting hedges, shelterbelts, streamside corridors, and protecting and enhancing other important carbon sinks such as soils, peatlands and grassland.”

ENDS

Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS

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