TACKLING Climate Change, the Biodiversity emergency and ensuring change is properly supported for farming and rural communities must be a priority for political parties in May’s Senedd election – says the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW).
The CPRW is today (13 April) launching a 10-point election manifesto and calling on all political parties and candidates to endorse its proposals to safeguard the environment.
A registered charity, for nearly a century, the CPRW has been championing the Welsh landscape and those who live and work in rural areas.
The CPRW 10-point plan* outlines action it believes should be taken to protect and enhance Wales’ countryside and green spaces. Measures include:
The appointment of a Welsh Landscape and Wildlife Commissioner.
A post-Brexit system of support for medium and small farmers.
Revitalising National Resources Wales.
Practical and climate-friendly measures to improve rural transport.
CPRW’s chairman, Jonathan Colchester, said, “It is two years since the Welsh and UK Governments declared Climate Change and Biodiversity as emergencies. But the steps to address them are overdue.
“The past year has been turbulent for all who live in Wales. Still, as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and meet the obligations of Brexit, we cannot forget the responsibilities we have to protect and re-build rural Wales for this generation and those to come.
“Now more than ever, we need to protect our countryside and rural communities. We must acknowledge the contribution of those who are not only custodians of our countryside, but who put the food on our plates.”
CPRW chief executive, Jon Parker, said, “Protecting the environment and Wales’ natural inheritance should be uppermost in politicians’ minds.
Indeed, one of the areas that Covid-19 has highlighted is the vulnerability of our planet. Therefore, the welfare of the environment and sustainability of Wales’ countryside and food production system must be addressed urgently by politicians from all sides of the political spectrum.”
Mr Colchester said, “Improving Wales’ social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being is enshrined in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
“Therefore, Wales needs to have a Government, and local authorities that value and protect our natural environment whatever the location – rural and urban, scenic and sensitive – if we are to meet those obligations for the benefit of all our futures.”