LlyG update – government policy important to community woodlands, April 2015

Posted on April 22, 2015 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.

You can read all the woodland policy updates posted by LlyG by visiting here.

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

Biggest news this month – Wellbeing of Future Generations bill

After a long period of gestation, and various name changes, the big policy news for this month is that the ‘Wellbeing of Future Generations’ Bill was laid by the relevant Minister, Carl Sergeant, in front of AM’s and approved.

The Ministers message was:

‘The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill was passed by the National Assembly for Wales on Tuesday 17thMarch. We are the first country to introduce legislation of this kind and it is vital we get it right for the good of this and future generations in Wales. In the same year that the United Nations will agree international Sustainable Development Goals, here in Wales we are ahead of the game, continuing the ambition Wales has had to be truly sustainable.

Now the Bill is on its way to becoming an Act, I believe, this is a game changer. We can’t keep leaving our problems for our children and grandchildren to solve. I hope the next generation, long after we’ve gone, will benefit from the positive intervention we’re making’

An overview of the bill

There is a lot in this legislation, and in a short update one can only give a very quick overview. In essence it will place a range of duties and responsibilities on public bodies to take full account of sustainability and environmental and social impact of what they do. Whilst the Bill has been passed by National Assembly members, there is still a lot of work going forward to develop the ‘nuts and bolts’ guidance and directives that will be law under the framework of the Bill. Organisations like LlyG will have a part to play in holding statutory agencies to account – as was made clear by a Wales government representative at the recent LlyG Gathering in Abergavenny on 27th March.

Delivery of the bill

Welsh Government now aim to engage and involve people (in particular those bodies that will have to deliver the Bill) to help develop guidance that will be useful and widely used and which will explain to public bodies how they should respond to its requirements to be compliant and to exemplify good practice.

There is a discussion document on the Wales Government website here, which sets out what guidance could include and find out from you what would work best.

The final Bill, as agreed by the National Assembly for Wales is available here.

Up next….

Next comes the Environment (Wales) Bill – expected to come to the National Assembly in the first half of the spring term 2015. The Environment and Scrutiny Committee is holding a legislation workshop on 14th May (in Cardiff) to look at this, with third sector organisations invited to feed in. So – like buses – you seem to get them all come at once!

 

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