Welsh environmental organisations write open letter to the First Minister of Wales Dear First Minister,
Following last week's EU referendum result, our organisations are seeking your assurance that you will continue to protect the natural environment and wildlife, and mitigate climate change. Millions of people in Wales and the UK love nature, and irrespective of our future relationship with the EU, we must ensure that we have clean air and waterways with countryside, urban and marine environments rich in wildlife. This is vital for the well-being of future generations.
We currently have an effective approach to international co-operation for environmental protection and management. Legislation derived from the EU has provided vital safeguards for the natural world and a positive framework for sustainable development. It is crucially important that this framework is not lost; instead we must build on what we currently have to ensure that we can offer even better protection to wildlife and our natural environment, and the numerous benefits they provide us.
Environmental projects across Wales have been recipients of large amounts of EU funding which have resulted in lasting environmental and socio-economic benefit. We are calling on the Welsh Government therefore to commit to securing long-term investment in our natural world to ensure that this does not lead to a neglected and degraded environment.
Climate, nature and other environmental issues transcend national boundaries. Cross-border co-operation and adherence to international standards will continue to be vital in order to protect the natural world. With our progressive new environmental legislation for the protection of nature and the sustainable management of natural resources, Wales is well placed to lead the way across the UK in protecting and restoring the natural environment and tackling climate change. This legislation is now more important than ever, and we will need to ensure its effective implementation so it can be deemed truly groundbreaking.
At this time of uncertainty, we ask for your commitment that Wales' environment and wildlife will continue to be safeguarded and will be one of the key issues you address in any discussions going forward.
Colin Cheesman, Head of Plantlife Cymru
Russel Hobson, Head of Butterfly Conservation Wales
Steve Lucus, Wales Officer, Bat Conservation Trust
Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru
Rachel Sharp, CEO Wildlife Trusts Wales
Dr Sharon Thompson, Head of Conservation RSPB Cymru
Andrew Whitehouse, Wales Manager Buglife