Cookies on our website

The Natural Resources Wales website uses cookies. By continuing to browse or by clicking “Continue,” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Cookie policy.

Priorities and Challenges

The Welsh Government has set out its key priorities for the sustainable management of natural resources in Wales. These provide the context for our work on Area Statements

The Natural Resources Policy was prepared taking into consideration the findings of the State of Natural Resources Report (SONARR) that NRW published in 2016.

What are the challenges for Wales?

The national challenges and opportunities for the sustainable management of natural resources, identified in the Natural Resource Policy (NRP) are:

  • Reverse the decline in biodiversity – by developing resilient ecological networks

  • Safeguard and increase carbon stores in soils and biomass

  • Maintain productive capacity, in particular by improving soil quality and biosecurity

  • Reducing the risk of flooding

  • Supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation through ecosystem approaches

  • Reducing noise pollution and pollution levels in our air, and enhance air quality

  • Improve the quality and ensure the quantity of our water

  • Taking action to reduce the pressures on natural resources, such as through resource efficiency and renewable energy

  • Supporting preventative approaches to health outcomes, with a particular focus on key public health issues of transport related air and noise pollution, tackling physical inactivity and mental health

  • Supporting action to tackle health and economic inequalities

  • Supporting community cohesion

  • Supporting secure and stable employment

Area statements will look for opportunities to address these national challenges in an integrated way, together with any local risks and opportunities for SMNR identified through their development

What are the priorities for action?

The Natural Resources Policy sets out the priorities for the types of action that can be taken to both tackle these challenges and deliver the opportunities. They are:

1. Delivering nature-based solutions, with a particular focus on the following which have been identified in SoNaRR and the NRP as delivering the greatest benefit for both building  the resilience of  our ecosystems and delivering wider benefits across the well-being goals. These are:

  • Developing resilient ecological networks
  • Increasing green infrastructure in and around urban areas
  • Coastal zone management and adaptation
  • Increasing canopy cover and well located woodland for greatest ecosystem service value
  • Maintaining, enhancing and restoring floodplains and hydrogeological systems to reduce flood risk and improve water quality and quantity
  • Restoring of uplands and managing them for biodiversity, carbon, water, flood risk, energy and recreational benefits

2. Increasing resource efficiency (including moving towards a circular economy) and renewable energy

3. Taking a place-based approach

Area Statements will look for opportunities to drive action at the most appropriate scale – this could be local, regional or national and will mean working across Area Statement boundaries where necessary.

Is there anything wrong with this page? Give us your feedback.