Nature is in decline - by securing the public sector’s commitment to the natural environment, we can inspire people across Wales to care for and enhance our precious nature to benefit us all.
Under section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 public authorities that exercise their functions in relation to Wales have a duty to maintain and enhance biodiversity and promote the resilience of ecosystems. Whilst our protected sites and species are important the S6 duty is about taking steps to protect nature in our towns, cities, public places and wider landscape, both through practical action on the ground, and in the way all public functions are carried out.
To help achieve this, and to comply with the duty, public authorities should embed the consideration of biodiversity and ecosystems into their day to day activities, policies, plans, programmes and projects.It is about changing the way we think about acting for biodiversity.
It is not just the large, landscape scale initiatives that are important, but also the smaller, every day, local scale actions that can make a difference and can contribute to helping biodiversity. Even if you or your organisation are not involved in land management,your decisions can still affect biodiversity through, for example, adopting a more sustainable, locally sourced procurement policy, or through funding decisions and conditions.
To comply with the duty public authorities must prepare and publish a plan setting out what they propose to do to maintain and enhance biodiversity and promote resilience.
A report on what the public authority has done to comply with the duty must be published by the end of 2019 and then every three years after this date.
A Frequently Asked Questions document can be accessed here.
Public authorities are currently drawing up S6 plans and completed plans will be published here. Completed S6 plans are shown below.
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water 'Making time for Nature'
Examples of good practice available to organisations to use and adapt in discharging the S6 duty. Further examples will be added as this section develops.
Guidelines for S6 reporting are under development. Public authorities are required to publish by the end of 2019 what measures they have taken to comply with the duty and then every three years after this date.