Future of Farming in Wales post-Brexit

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The One Planet Council has published its response to the Welsh Government’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the Future of Agricultural and Rural Development Policies in Wales.

The Council believes that Brexit offers an opportunity to redefine Wales’ relationship with the land and to align policies and practices with the aspirations of Wales’ recent groundbreaking and excellent legislation around sustainability. We believe:

The principal aim of policy should be the encouragement of sustainable land stewardship by landowners, farmers, land managers and foresters with a view to maximising sustainable: food production, woodfuel, woodland craft and other produce, and value-added productivity.

Policy should lay a path to facilitating all land management practices to harmonise somehow with the criteria for One Planet Development in the Welsh context in order to reduce Wales’ ecological footprint and meet the demands of existing Welsh legislation – as explained below.

Previous policies have led us down an unsustainable path that unique new Welsh legislation, of which it should be proud, already aspires to correct. The legislation includes:

  • The Well-Being Of Future Generations Act;
  • The Nature Recovery Plan for Wales and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016;
  • The Welsh Government’s Nature Recovery Plan for Wales (December 2015);
  • The Sustainable Management of Natural Resources;
  • The Biodiversity and Resilient Ecosystems Duty introduced by the Environment (Wales) Act 2016;
  • The Natural Resources Policy for Wales – delivered through Area Statements – contributing to delivery of Well-being objectives and plans;
  • The Wales Climate Change Strategy (2010 revised 2014) with its aspiration to create 50,000 hectares of new woodland up to 2040;
  • One Planet Development as outlined in Technical Advice Note 6 and Planning Policy Wales.

The OPC’s response discusses how these policies can be marshalled to bring about the sustainable, ‘one planet’ integration of land management into the rest of Wales’ aspirations for improvement and well-being.

You can find it here.