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A presentation given to CCCW by Dr Emyr Roberts Natural Resources Wales 6/6/13

A presentation given to CCCW by Dr Emyr Roberts Natural Resources Wales 6/6/13

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  • Want to cover: Context for our work What we do Our role in mitigation and adaptation How can we best use our Leadership role
  • A product of (d)evolution NRW has arisen from a continuous train of thinking in Wales – inside and outside Government. Landmarks include: The report from the National Trust-led “Valuing our Environment partnership” (2000) – the Environment has an economic value, that can be quantified, as well as other benefits that cannot be expressed so readily in financial terms. The Ecological Footprint, calculated first for Wales in 2005 – in exploiting the Environment we need to keep within ecological limits. WG SD Scheme “One Wales: One Planet” (2009) – SD provides the framework for achieving this.
  • Welsh Government’s expectations of us Taken together, these can be summarised as: Provide value for money. Adopt a partnership approach. Champion the Environment, within the wider framework of Sustainable Development.
  • Aligned with Welsh Government outcomes We see this as a hugely significant step forward. It: Locks us into the wider life of Wales. Provides us with an enduring focus for our work. Connecting with wider agendas.
  • Our top priority for emissions reduction – “Practise what we preach” Our office in Ty Cambria with many environmental features (solar panels; natural ventilation; voltage optimisation; rainwater harvesting; bicycle cage etc.). Our Environmental policy Statement, signed by our Chief Executive – proudly and prominently displayed. During Climate Week in 2011 the Environment Agency Wales threw open the doors of this office to other organisations to show case its various environmental features.
  • Methane Reduction from landfill Work with operators to reduce methane emissions from landfill sites. This is achieved by burning the methane, converting it to CO2 (which is some 25x less potent than methane as a greenhouse gas). In some cases the methane is burnt to generate electricity for supply to the grid – an additional benefit. Monitor amounts of biodegradable municipal waste sent there in the first place, to make sure this is in line with WG-set targets (see NRW contribution to CCCW’s members’ update). Regulation of heavy industry The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is proving ineffective (caps too high, carbon cost therefore too low). We therefore adopt a more negotiated approach, emphasising cost savings to business and other environmental gains.
  • Conserve and restore peatlands Keep the current soil carbon locked in. Allow the peat to sequester more CO2, through build-up of peat. Statutory consultee on planning applications Including energy projects. We also have various regulatory roles, which vary according to the energy technology in question (e.g. hydropower, shale gas, tidal power). Advise Welsh Government on energy policy Picture shows “Energy Island” – the Anglesey Energy Enterprise Zone. NRW has set up a dedicated project team to consider developments in the round – rather than adopting a piecemeal approach.
  • Climate Adaptation – the challenge The UKCP09 projections are very detailed and can be somewhat confusing, particularly in their adoption of the “probabilistic” approach. For practical purposes, especially at this early stage of our adaptation, the summary on the left is perfectly adequate if you consider: What this means for your own particular job or lifestyle. Lessons from how successfully (or otherwise) we have dealt with extreme weather events in the past. Through its various functions NRW has an extensive reach into the life of Wales, including: The public (e.g. flood warnings) Local communities (e.g. through local reserves) Local authorities (e.g. through local service boards) Businesses (e.g. through our regulatory role) Welsh Government (e.g. through our advisor role) Given our reach, therefore, our aim is to be seen as the lead Climate Change Adaptation organisation in Wales.
  • More extremes Welsh rivers are very “flashy” rising and falling quickly in response to rainfall. With more extreme rainfall and prolonged drought, we can expect more extremes in river flow. The pictures are of Blackweir on the River Taff in Cardiff: In spate. During a period of dry weather.
  • The consequences These are the main consequences that NRW has to deal with: More flooding of people, land and property. Severe droughts during prolonged periods of dry weather. Last year (2012) was exceptional in that we experienced severe drought, followed by severe flooding.
  • Sea level rise We can protect people with sea defences – but how does that affect the character of the place? [Towyn on the N Wales coast – the site of the devastating sea wall breach in 1990]. How we protect our prime coastal resorts [Aberystwyth] will require very careful consideration. In protecting people and land, we will progressively lose inter-tidal habitat as sea levels rise and push up against the hard fixed defence [our Newport Wetlands Reserve]. NRW will be working to counter the loss of inter-tidal habitat due to sea-level rise through its habitat restoration programme.
  • Impact on biodiversity The “Living With Environmental Change” partnership has published (May 2013) its “Report Card” summarising the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity. To summarise: Many seasonal events, such as flowering or budding, are happening earlier. Some species will expand their range in Wales [e.g. Greater Horseshoe Bat]. Other species will contract their range [e.g. Black Grouse].
  • Integration at the domestic level Our experience so far with adaptation is that you cannot deal with issues in isolation – that would be ineffective and inefficient. At the household level it makes sense to address adaptation and mitigation together. The House for the Future, St. Fagans illustrates many features for emissions reduction and climate adaptation, such as: Solar photovoltaic panels. Solar water heating. Ground source heating. A green roof, which absorbs water and provides cooling. Rain water harvesting. We recognise that most of our future housing stock has already been built, but advocate an integrated approach to refurbishment, combining for example: Energy efficiency. Water efficiency. Such an approach minimises disruption.
  • Integration at the neighbourhood level At the neighbourhood level, we are paying increasing to integrated water management The slide shows our partnership proposals for a Water Sensitive Urban Design project in Grangetown. This will: Reduce flooding by replacing hard impervious surfaces with softer more absorbent ones. Reduce peak flows in the sewerage network, and therefore reduce the frequency of polluting overspills to the Taff. Conserve water, rather than let it “run to waste”. It will also provide a much improved environment for people, with greater shading and more green space. At a higher level we are working with many Local Service Boards in Wales, including Flintshire, Torfaen and Carmarthenshire, to improve climate change resilience collectively.
  • An integrated approach at the landscape level – the Cambrian Mountains initiative The Cambrian Mountains Initiative (CMI) is a wide-ranging project that aims to help promote rural enterprise, protect the environment and add value to products and services. As part of the Ecosystems component of the project, a range of ecosystem services were assessed spatially and integrated to identify opportunity areas within the catchment (green) where adaptation action might be focussed. These ecosystem services included: Agricultural productivity (land quality). Carbon storage (soils and peat). Biodiversity. Water management (flood alleviation).
  • Landscape-scale adaptation for wildlife As the climate warms, species will change their range. Protected areas cover a quarter of Wales (shown here on the map) and represent a critical resource in terms of their wildlife and ecosystem services but there is a need for wider restoration and adaptation outside them to improve connectivity. Landscape scale adaptation involves a range of adaptation approaches including improving connectivity, enhancing heterogeneity and reducing other sources of harm. One way to achieve this connectivity is to construct fish passes, as here at Blackweir on the Taff. Such passes: Allow access for salmon and trout to the cooler headwaters for spawning. But eventually even these headwaters will be too warm. We will therefore face choices over which species we seek to encourage – the existing ones, or new ones better adapted to the new climate.
  • Connecting with people Whatever plans we make, it is essential that we bring people with us. The best way to check if people have received our messages is to suggest they “play them back” in their own words. This picture was created by primary school children as part of our Flood Awareness Wales project. It is advice by the children to their parents on how to prepare for flooding. The words speak for themselves.

NRW CCCW Presentation 2013 NRW CCCW Presentation 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • Cyfoeth Naturiol CymruNatural Resources WalesDechrau ar ein Taith ArweinyddiaethStarting on our Leadership JourneyEmyr RobertsPrif Weithredwr / Chief Executive6 Mehefin / June 20131
  • PurposeOur purpose is to ensurethat the natural resourcesof Wales are sustainablymaintained, enhanced andused, now and in thefuture.2
  • 3NRW – a Product of Evolution3
  • 4Welsh Government’s Expectations of Us• Deliver a streamlined work programme• Help Welsh Government with policy• Help Welsh Government with legislation –particularly the Environment Bill• Establish common purpose with partners• Deliver the business case• In first phase of public bodies withSustainable Development Duty• Deliver improved environmental outcomes forthe people of Wales
  • 5NRW – Aligned with Welsh Government’sLong-term Operating Outcomes• Enhancing our environment• Protecting people• Supporting enterprise and jobs• Improving the nation’s health• Viable and vibrant places• Delivering social justice• Supporting skills and knowledge
  • Emissions Reduction – Practice What WePreach6
  • 777Environmental Regulator7
  • 888Permitting & Licensing Authority8
  • 999Statutory Consultee onPlanning Applications
  • 101010Designating Authority10
  • 111111Land Manager& Owner11
  • 121212Operator12
  • 131313Provider ofOutdoorRecreation13
  • 141414IncidentManagement14General enquiries: 0300 065 3000 (Mon-Fri, 8am - 6pm)Minicom service: For the hard of hearing, a minicom service is availableon 03702 422 549**Incident hotline: 0800 807060 (Freephone, 24 hour service)You should use the incident hotline to report an incident such aspollutionFloodline: 0845 988 1188 (24 hour service) or Type talk 0845 602 6340Fax: 0300 065 3001
  • 1515Evidence
  • Emissions Reduction – Our Approach16
  • Emissions Reduction – Our Approach17
  • 18Climate Adaptation – The ChallengeUKCP09 Projections:• Warmer all year• Wetter in Winter• Drier in Summer• More extreme rainfall &prolonged drought• Sea levels rising
  • More Extremes19
  • The Consequences20
  • Sea Level Rise21
  • Impact on Biodiversity22
  • 232323Phytophthora on larch
  • An Integrated Approach to Adaptation &Mitigation24
  • ... After *Impacts on the Urban EnvironmentThe Case for Urban GreenspaceBefore...* Graphical representation of how such a scheme could look
  • Landscape-scale Adaptation for EcosystemServices26
  • Landscape-scale Adaptation for Wildlife27© Crown Copyright and database right [2013].Ordnance Survey licence number 100019741.
  • Connecting With People28
  • 2929Natural Resources Wales – Our leadership role• Number of roles – are some more importantthan others?• What are our priorities?• Climate Change – leader or contributor?• How can we contribute best?• How can we work effectively with ourpartners?• What is our role on gathering evidence?• Corporate plan 2014-2016.