Nature and Us - National initiative launches on the future of the Welsh natural environment
The people of Wales are being urged to have their say on the future of Wales’ natural environment. Launching today (17th February), Nature and Us aims to involve people across Wales in how we tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
The initiative starts with a 10-week ‘national conversation’, following on from the global talks at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow and Wales Climate Week in November. Facilitated by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and supported by the Welsh Government, it looks at the changes that are happening to the environment and the role that individuals, businesses and organisations can play in getting things back on the right track.
Nature and Us is an important next step to focus on the urgent action needed over the next 10 years and beyond. The initiative will use the outputs from the national conversation to develop a shared vision for the future of the natural environment. Nature is important both for its own sake and for what it provides for people - such as clean water, clean air and food – so the aim is to get as many people as possible to share their views and talk about their relationships with the natural environment.
Nature and Us explores what actions are needed now, as a country and as individuals, if we are to look after the natural environment for future generations.. Nature and Us will explore key areas for change, including the way our energy, transport and food systems are operating today and whether they could be adapted to better deliver for nature in the future.
Businesses and public sector organisations are encouraged to get involved. They can let their own staff, members and customers know about the campaign, or even organise their own Nature and Us events.
The campaign has already won support from the likes of Nature and Us ambassador Richard Parks, who urges others to have their say.
"Nature and Us is a campaign to involve everyone in Wales in an open and frank discussion about the future of our natural environment.
"We know that the people of Wales – from individuals to companies to government – each have a role to play in protecting our natural environment, but not everyone feels empowered to have their opinion. This campaign aims to make sure we all, regardless of our postcode, race, gender or age, together, can decide what changes we need to make.
"I’m committed to having my say and would encourage every Welsh citizen to use their voice.
"We need to act now to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, and we also want to create a vision for our children's future. A vision that everyone in Wales can see themselves in, one that is achievable and one we can all get behind.”
Clare Pillman, Chief Executive at Natural Resource Wales, said:
“Nature and Us is all about the people of Wales coming together in a joint effort to protect our natural environment. We need to act now to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, but we also want to develop a vision for our future. A future everyone in Wales feels is fair and achievable.”
"The only way we can do this is by making sure we hear from as many voices as possible from across society.”
Climate Change Minister Julie James said:
“Tackling the climate and nature emergencies is at the heart of everything we do - we must protect our environment for future generations.”
“Conversations like this one being hosted by Natural Resources Wales are so important because we need a ‘Team Wales’ approach if we are to achieve our ambitious plans to restore nature.”
“I would encourage everyone to take the time to find out more about the Nature and Us campaign and to make sure their voices are heard.”
It is really easy to take part in Nature and Us and most resources will be available online. People can read information about the climate and nature emergencies, have their say by completing a survey, or register for online events. There are also tools to support community groups and school groups hosting their own conversations, and sharing their results in more creative ways, such as creating poetry, artwork or short films.
Nature and Us welcomes everyone in Wales who wants to join in. People can take part by themselves or get someone to help them.
Once the initial phase of the initiative has concluded, the next step will involve playing back some of the findings, messages and voices we have heard in a series of engagement events, taking place over the spring and summer. We will also be speaking to stakeholders and the public about what they would like to see happen next, to ensure that the shared vision can be used in a meaningful way, to help us make the changes we need to make in order to protect the natural environment for future generations.
Visit www.natureandus.wales to get involved.