IEMA recently responded to a consultation on a White Paper that sets out how the Welsh Government intend to complement and enhance existing environmental policies through new legislative means. IEMA Policy and Engagement Lead on Biodiversity and Natural Capital Lesley Wilson tells us more.

The consultation focused on the following areas:

  • embedding a set of environmental principles into Welsh law
  • the creation of a new environmental governance body that will hold Welsh public authorities to account for any non-compliance with environmental law, including through enforcement action
  • proposal for biodiversity targets

IEMA were delighted to be joined by members based in, or with operations in, Wales to take part in a workshop to put together a response.

As a result of this workshop, IEMA has put forward the following recommendations for the Welsh Government:

  • More guidance on the meaning behind the principles is needed and the Welsh Government should consider the insights and definitions contained within the paper ‘IEMA Core Principles for Environmental Policy Making’ (2022).
  • Principles should include enhancement of biodiversity (not only protection).
  • The proposed new environmental governance body must have the finances and human resources to carry out the large task that is being asked of it.
  • The oversight and enforcement role of the new environmental governance body should not repeat work that is already happening and the role of the new body, particularly on enforcement, must be clearly communicated to those in government, organisations and the public.
  • A period of public consultation should be held to enable the Welsh Government to receive feedback on ‘supporting targets’ for protecting and restoring biodiversity before they are set in secondary legislation.
  • A baseline year, where feasible, should be set for all targets created in secondary legislation.

We look forward to the next steps in this process to improve biodiversity and nature across Wales.

IEMA’s full response to the consultation can be found here.

Photo of Lesley
Lesley Wilson

Policy and Engagement Lead

Lesley is Policy and Engagement Lead at IEMA with a focus on biodiversity and natural capital. Lesley also supports IEMA’s role as Secretariat to the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum, working with businesses to raise the profile of, mainstream, and share good practice in, biodiversity. Lesley joined IEMA in December 2021 after 11 years delivering projects, programmes and solutions for business in the field of environmental sustainability for the British Standards Institution (BSI), including ground breaking standards in biodiversity net gain and natural capital. Lesley has a qualification in business management (MBA) and climate change management, and mentors environmental students at the University of Westminster.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.