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Morgan Parry, CCW (with opening remarks added to presentation)


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Morgan Parry, CCW with opening remarks added to presentation.

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Morgan Parry, CCW (with opening remarks added to presentation)

  1. 1. Politics, Protected Landscapes and the Ecosystem Approach in Wales Morgan Parry Chair, Countryside Council for Wales
  2. 2. <ul><li>NAAONB Conference, Falmouth </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation by Morgan Parry, Chair, Countryside Council for Wales </li></ul><ul><li>Although funding is a major concern for all AONBs I’m not going to talk about money </li></ul><ul><li>today. Neither can I say much about the future of AONBs in Wales because the new </li></ul><ul><li>Government has yet to address the issue of protected areas and ideas are in development. </li></ul><ul><li>The Welsh Election May 2011 returned a Labour Administration, with no overall majority </li></ul><ul><li>New Minister of Environment & Sustainability is John Griffiths </li></ul><ul><li>No significant change of direction from the preceding Government has been signalled yet </li></ul><ul><li>but all protected areas will come under spotlight, we will have to show how they are core </li></ul><ul><li>areas for delivering a range of ecosystem services. </li></ul><ul><li>The big show in town is the Natural Environment Framework, Wales’ equivalent to the </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Environment White Paper in England. Based on National Ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment, but less on Lawton Report on Biodiversity, it will be broader in scope than </li></ul><ul><li>the England White Paper. Discussions about this are intimately linked with the setting up </li></ul><ul><li>of a Single Environment Body created from CCW/EA/FC. To a degree, the new body will </li></ul><ul><li>be designed around the ecosystem approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion is also taking place around the potential of newly acquired primary legislative </li></ul><ul><li>powers a Sustainable Development Bill may put the SD Duty on a firmer legal footing. </li></ul><ul><li>An Environment Act, possibly to be scheduled later in the term of this Government, may </li></ul><ul><li>consolidate the provisions of existing UK legislation into new Welsh measures, and could </li></ul><ul><li>update the functions and duties of the existing public agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>A “Welsh Way” will emerge, and different from that in other 3 nations of UK. But AONBs </li></ul><ul><li>have e been a great success story and there is no reason to think that they won’t be an </li></ul><ul><li>important part of the landscape in the future. </li></ul><ul><li>I will finish with a look at some possible alternative scenarios, based on different political and </li></ul><ul><li>economic trajectories. Neither are necessarily applicable to England or Wales and the best solution </li></ul><ul><li>may be a combination of different approaches and economic tools. But they illustrate the increasing </li></ul><ul><li>influence of political and ethical choices that are being made in Wales and England. </li></ul><ul><li>The interpretation of these scenarios are my own opinions and do not represent the views of CCW </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>LIVING WALES </li></ul><ul><li>Welsh Labour in government will reassess the principles which </li></ul><ul><li>underpin A Living Wales –our Natural Environment Framework. In </li></ul><ul><li>particular Welsh Labour recognises that the environment: </li></ul><ul><li>• has an intrinsic value </li></ul><ul><li>• is our life support system </li></ul><ul><li>• is a finite source of raw materials and resources </li></ul><ul><li>• is central to our quality of life, sense of place, health and wellbeing </li></ul><ul><li>• underpins our economic development </li></ul><ul><li>WELSH LABOUR IS COMMITED TO: </li></ul><ul><li>• recognising and living within environmental limits, locally and globally </li></ul><ul><li>• ensuring that all policies take the environment into account, in </li></ul><ul><li>accordance with our statutory Sustainable Development duty </li></ul><ul><li>• stimulating and enabling collaboration across the Welsh public sector </li></ul><ul><li>• working with business and voluntary sector partners </li></ul><ul><li>• encouraging individual citizens and communities to live in an </li></ul><ul><li>environmentally sustainable way, and providing leadership by </li></ul><ul><li>acting now for the future </li></ul>Welsh Labour Programme for Government
  4. 4. <ul><li>OUR GUIDING AIM IS TO ENSURE THAT WALES HAS INCREASINGLY </li></ul><ul><li>RESILIENT AND DIVERSE ECOSYSTEMS THAT DELIVER ECONOMIC, </li></ul><ul><li>ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS, WITH </li></ul><ul><li>a focus on the value of the environment as a whole, </li></ul><ul><li>opportunities for wider public involvement. </li></ul><ul><li>a positive approach for landowners, farmers, fisheries, forestry, developers and regulated industries… </li></ul><ul><li>delivering positive environmental change, not just conserving what we have </li></ul><ul><li>changes in the way we deliver policy, make decisions and regulate the environment…. </li></ul><ul><li>ensuring the public bodies, charged with protecting and enhancing the environment are equipped to deliver the new approach </li></ul>Welsh Government Statement 15 th June 2011
  5. 5. cultural services
  6. 6. Ecosystems or Landscapes? National Ecosystem Assessment
  7. 7. Convention on Biological Diversity <ul><li>“The ecosystem approach does not preclude other management and conservation approaches, such as … protected areas, and single-species conservation programmes, but could integrate all these approaches and other methodologies to deal with complex situations” </li></ul>
  8. 8. CCW view <ul><li>Protected Areas will be managed for both </li></ul><ul><li>features and ecosystem services set in a </li></ul><ul><li>whole environment context and involving </li></ul><ul><li>adaptive management and ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>restoration </li></ul>
  9. 9. Protected Areas <ul><li>30% of Wales’ land is protected for it’s wildlife, scenic beauty or geological value </li></ul><ul><li>7/8 of the area of Natura 2000 sites are marine SACs </li></ul>
  10. 10. Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB extension
  11. 13. Report on CCW website -
  12. 14. Cambrian Mountains Initiative
  13. 15. Aims of Cambrian Mountains Initiative Support the development of sustainable, rural communities within the area of the Cambrian Mountains: Sustain the environment of the area Work with communities, producers and tourism providers within the surrounding area of influence; Ensure the future sustainability of Welsh family farms; Achieve the highest standards of land management and animal welfare; Provide the best Welsh welcome and a high quality of service to visitors to the area Use an ecosystems approach to managing our natural capital
  14. 20. What of the future? <ul><li>Some dilemmas, options and alternative scenarios….. </li></ul><ul><li>And some potential fault-lines between Wales and England </li></ul>
  15. 21. England White Paper <ul><li>We will create new Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) to enhance and reconnect nature on a significant scale, where the opportunities and benefits justify such action. Local partnerships will come together to form NIAs. </li></ul><ul><li>Through reforms of the planning system, we will take a strategic approach to planning for nature within and across local areas…. We will retain the protection and improvement of the natural environment as core objectives of the planning system. </li></ul><ul><li>We will establish a new, voluntary approach to biodiversity offsets and test our approach in pilot areas. </li></ul>
  16. 22. <ul><li>Land banking/biodiversity offsetting would </li></ul><ul><li>be innovative and distinctive for the new Government in England </li></ul><ul><li>potentially create bigger areas than currently required under Section 106 </li></ul><ul><li>reduce the regulatory burden on developers </li></ul><ul><li>compensate society for loss of environmental assets rather than seeking to prevent it </li></ul><ul><li>risk being abused by legal manouvres and accountancy tricks </li></ul><ul><li>supporting the existing statutory requirements would </li></ul><ul><li>be a recognition that development needs regulating under a legal framework </li></ul><ul><li>maintain the integrity of existing designated sites wherever possible </li></ul><ul><li>protect more rigorously protected species, habitats and landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>retain a key role for local authority staff and Country Agencies </li></ul>Market Mechanisms or Regulation?
  17. 23. <ul><li>A conceptual framework based on science would </li></ul><ul><li>emphasise the principles underpinning ecosystem function </li></ul><ul><li>recognise and address the drivers of ecological change </li></ul><ul><li>accept the evidence for environmental limits having been exceeded </li></ul><ul><li>focus on the supporting services such as soil formation, nutrient cycling </li></ul><ul><li>prioritise restoration of habitats and the reduction of negative impacts </li></ul><ul><li>invest in resilience to withstand climatic and other changes </li></ul><ul><li>Chosing economics as a starting point however leads us to </li></ul><ul><li>emphasise the links between ecosystems and human wellbeing </li></ul><ul><li>accept the inevitability of ecological change </li></ul><ul><li>focus on the provisioning services such as food, timber and energy </li></ul><ul><li>prioritise creation of new economically valuable habitats or landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>discount the economic impact of climatic and other changes </li></ul><ul><li>propose technological solutions to overcoming natural limits </li></ul>Science v. Economics
  18. 24. <ul><li>Spatial planning </li></ul><ul><li>is a partnership approach with stakeholders agreeing “what goes where” </li></ul><ul><li>is participatory and democratic, but time-consuming </li></ul><ul><li>builds on community-led approaches to sustainable development </li></ul><ul><li>is resisted by planning professionals (in Wales at least!) </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Valuation </li></ul><ul><li>is technocratic, with values being determined by experts </li></ul><ul><li>currently more robust for land-uses with tradeable products or services </li></ul><ul><li>proposed change in land-use may be resisted by residents and landowners </li></ul><ul><li>method of capitalising on the potential values still under-developed </li></ul>Spatial Planning v. Economic Valuation
  19. 25. <ul><li>The Big Society </li></ul><ul><li>is a big component of the England White Paper but resisted in Wales </li></ul><ul><li>civil society/voluntary sector is essential for local action and participation </li></ul><ul><li>tradition of strong community in Wales but also a heavy dependency on the institutions of the state </li></ul><ul><li>Big Society may therefore depend on a Big State for funding, skills, resources </li></ul><ul><li>Strong role for state </li></ul><ul><li>few people want to be actively involved in managing of public goods and services </li></ul><ul><li>people expect “the experts” to safeguard the environment on their behalf </li></ul><ul><li>legal responsibility for addressing many global challenges rests with the State </li></ul><ul><li>Welsh Government is small and realtively close to its citizens </li></ul>Big Society, or the buck stops with Government?
  20. 26. <ul><li>Centralising </li></ul><ul><li>moving powers from London to Cardiff is main agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Welsh Government, 12 years after devolution, is still sub-optimal </li></ul><ul><li>emphasis will be on Wales-wide approaches led by Government </li></ul><ul><li>Strong drive to achieve national or international goals on climate etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Localising </li></ul><ul><li>Participation enhanced, empowerment engendered and leadership encouraged </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity of solutions emerge, tailored to local conditions and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Needs targets set by a higher authority for local choice and determination </li></ul>Centralisation or localisation
  21. 27. 3 points to take away <ul><li>Many shared principles, frameworks and international standards </li></ul><ul><li>Wales will set its own course according to its own politics and values </li></ul><ul><li>We need to strengthen UK institutions like NAAONB </li></ul>