State of Natural Resources Report for Wales 2020 lacks recognition for farmers

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have recently published the second phase of the State of Natural Resources Report for Wales 2020 (SoNaRR2020). SoNaRR is a requirement under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and this is the second SoNaRR report, with the first being published in 2016 as a baseline on natural resources in Wales.

SoNaRR2020 looks at the status and trends of natural resources, building on a number of Welsh, UK and global assessments. It looks at the risks those trends pose to our ecosystems and to the long-term social, cultural and economic well-being of Wales, in terms defined by the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

SoNaRR 2020 is made up of a number of reports focusing on broad ecosystems, cross cutting themes and natural resources.

The headline findings from SoNaRR2020 are:

  • Wales is not maintaining stocks of natural resources. Iconic species like curlews are predicted to become extinct in Wales within a couple of decades
  • The state of natural resources has an impact on the resilience of our ecosystems. SoNaRR2020 finds resilience to be declining in line with global trends. The UN predicts that globally, one million of the eight million species on the planet will be extinct within 20 years
  • Without stable levels of natural resources and resilient ecosystems, SoNaRR2020 will continue to show that people across Wales are not free from environmental hazards and do not all have healthy places to live in
    A regenerative economy cannot be achieved while economic activity takes place at the expense of the environment.

The FUW welcomes the SoNaRR 2020, noting its requirement under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Though do feel that the economic, environmental, social and cultural contribution farming makes to the well-being of Wales is somewhat understated throughout the report.

In addition, the Union perceive the timescales chosen in the reports give a distorted picture of what is actually happening - for example, farming practices have changed a lot since 1946 and feel not enough is done to show more recent trends.

All of the SoNaRR 2020 documents can be found here.