Wales Biodiversity Partnership

Natural Resource Management

Wales Context

The Environment Bill (Wales) will be the major driving force for adoption of the ecosystem approach in Wales and the associated natural resource management approach. The Bill is due to become law in Spring 2016.


The Environment Bill Wales (White Paper) was open for consultation from October 23rd 2013- Jan 15th 2014. The Bill puts forward a legislative framework to manage the natural resources of Wales in a joined-up way. This includes proposals for a new area-based planning approach to natural resource management. You can view the consultation responses and a summary of the consultation outcome here.

Natural Resource Management is about recognising and valuing the important role of the natural environment in Wales. With the right management of natural resources and through sustainable use, the natural environment is a source of economic, environmental and social benefit. Diverse and resilient ecosystems and their constituent species associations are integral to the functioning of a healthy environment.


The Welsh Government through its Living Wales Programme is committed to sustainable land, air, water and marine management in Wales and the adoption of an ecosystem approach. The Living Wales programme will focus on managing our environment as a whole within the context of sustainable development.

The Living Wales programme covers two main areas:

Natural Resource Management which is about balancing the demands that we put on natural resources in Wales

Creation of a new Single Body

A ' Living Wales’ and ‘Sustaining a Living Wales’ consultation documents set the approach and aspiration to manage natural resources in a more integrated way to enable better and more sustainable decision-making. Wales has a wealth of natural resources, air, land, water and wildlife which underpin our quality of life providing food, water, energy, timber and materials for construction, and a wide range of opportunities for the economy. Natural resources are a key component of the Welsh landscape – providing recreational and restorative opportunities for the people of Wales and its many visitors.

A new single body to manage Wales' natural resources has been created - Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru /Natural Resources Wales. The new body will undertake the current duties of the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency in Wales and Forestry Commission in Wales. The new Body became operational on 1 April 2013.

Sustaining a Living Wales- a Green Paper on a new approach to natural resource management in Wales.

The 'Sustaining a Living Wales' consultation which ended on May 1st 2012 sought views on the proposed changes to the governance and delivery of the management and regulation of the environment in Wales, based on the ecosystem approach. Living Wales Consultation responses have been published summarising the consultation response and listing detailed comments from various consultees.