Nature comes first in Wales

We are pleased to report that the National Committee UK’s intervention with UK members of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) , along with others with similar views, seems to have led to the withdrawal of the more damaging aspects of a set of proposals advanced by the Welsh Government in their ‘Sustainable Management of Natural Resources’ consultation at the end of last year. These would have weakened the protection given to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (currently recognised as Category V protected areas).

We think it is likely that our argument – that the proposals, if acted upon, would have made it impossible for IUCN to regard these places as Protected Areas in future – was one of the principal factors that led the Welsh Government to have second thoughts and commit to maintaining the present level of protection afforded to these areas.

We are also pleased that Hannah Blythyn, the Welsh Environment Minister, in her statement in the Sennedd has upheld the Sandford Principle – where irreconcilable conflicts exist between conservation and public enjoyment, then conservation interests should take priority.

This is an important example of the non-regression of public policy for nature conservation and we would like to congratulate the Welsh Minister on her statement.  If you would like to join the IUCN Director General (@andersen_inger)  and other global and regional IUCN colleagues in congratulating the Welsh Environment Minister, her twitter handle is @wgmin_enviro.

Chris Mahon

CEO, IUCN National Committee UK

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