LlyG update – government policy important to community woodlands, April 2014

Posted on April 19, 2014 by

Llais y Goedwig Director David Williams gives his bi monthly round up of key developments important to community woodlands in one easy read update.

This update draws on Llais y Goedwig’s ongoing work with organisations including Natural Resources Wales, Wales Environment link (WEL),  Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), and the National Forestry Policy Group within Welsh Government.

All members are welcome to take part in attending meetings and inputting on consultations. For more information contact the network here.

Policy update

The three ‘keystones’ of legislation for Wales Government, seen as linked and together providing the underpin for Natural Resources Management, are the Planning Bill, the Future Generations Bill and the Environment Bill.  It is perhaps useful to set out the high level aims for each.

The Environment Bill – ‘a modern statutory framework for sustainable management of natural resources’. 1. New approach for integrated management with clear strategic priorities for natural resources to help deliver long term goals’. 2. New functions for NRW and measures to improve resource efficiency and to streamline regulatory regimes’

The Future Generations Bill – ‘framework to tackle the generational challenges that Wales faces in a more joined up and integrated way’. 1. Public sector focusing on shared goals for a sustainable and fairer Wales with a clear process to monitor performance. 2 Sets goals that reflect the ambition for Wales’ future and maximise contribution to achieving them

The Planning Bill –‘modern planning system to help deliver national and local objectives bu supporting appropriate development’. 1. Supports culture change for positive planning and confirms Wales Government as an active steward for planning. 2. Promotes collaboration between LPA’s (local planning authorities, improves local delivery and enhances engagement for citizens.

Key areas under discussion in this period are around two parts of the Environment Bill. These are ‘General Binding Rules’ and ‘Enabling Powers’ – with both generating some concern from the environmental sector – to understand what these mean, and how they might be applied. This is done through the Natural Resources and Food Reference Group, where Llais y Goedwig has a seat  alongside other third sector organisations .

General Binding Rules are described as outlining necessary conditions for undertaking specified, low-risk activity. In terms of Enabling Powers, the proposal is for the Welsh Minister to be given limited and very specific powers to affect changes in specific Primary Acts (18 identified) that relate to the management of natural resources through secondary legislation. They would only apply in very specific circumstances  to deliver the purpose and objectives of integrated natural resource management with clear evidence  required.

I would recommend that those interested  to keep an eye on the newly developed Natural Resources Management (NRM) website. To be on their list for updates – email them at: naturalresourcemanagement@wales.gsi.gov.uk


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