NRW B B 55 14 Interim Natural Resources Wales Position

Board Paper
09 July 2014
Paper Title
Interim Natural Resources Wales Position Statement on
Natural Resource Management & Staff Guidance
Paper Reference:
NRW B B 55.14
Paper Sponsored By:
Paper Authored By:
Ceri Davies
Joanne Sherwood, Keith Davies, Russell De’Ath and
Russell Elliott
Purpose of Paper:
The board are asked to consider the interim NRW position
statement on NRM
To agree the NRW interim position statement on Natural
Resource Management and staff briefing paper.
Decision Required:
The Board is asked to approve the Position Statement and
staff briefing, as our current position, recognising that it will
need to be updated as the statutory framework develops.
Impact on the Environment:
The Environment White Paper will ultimately lead to an
Environment Bill which will set a new agenda for natural
resources management in Wales. Our response to the
White Paper highlights the benefits to the environment, as
well as to the economy and society, of the proposed
improvements in the legal framework.
Impact on the Economy:
Our comments on the White Paper contribute positively to
the development of the proposed new legislation to use
natural resources in Wales to benefit the economy as well
as communities and the environment.
Impact on Community:
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Our comments on the White Paper contribute positively to
the development of the proposed new legislation to use
natural resources in Wales to benefit communities as well
the economy and the environment.
Impact on Knowledge:
Some of the proposals in the White Paper will have
significant implications for the ways in which Natural
Resources Wales (and others) gather, organise and share
data, evidence and knowledge. This should lead to a
common evidence base and understanding that decision
makers can use to ensure natural resource use in Wales
benefits the environment, the economy and communities.
1. There is a need for an Interim Natural Resources Wales Position Statement on Natural
Resource Management for communication to staff and external stakeholders pending
confirmation of Welsh Government’s final policy and legislative proposals for natural
resource management.
Summary and Background
2. This draft position statement was previously endorsed by the Board in April. Since then
the statement has been to various Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales
committees, including the Board’s Environment Sub Group, Ecosystem Approach & NRM
Programme Board, WG Marine Planning Project Policy Board, WG NRM Programme
Board and the WG Natural Resources Reference Group.
Feedback from these committees has been incorporated in the final draft. This has
resulted in changes such as a reordering of the contents, to flag up sooner the ideas
behind the new approach. References to areas of work such as marine, climate change,
health and wellbeing, have also been strengthened.
An ‘accessible version’ of the statement has also been developed, taking on feedback as
above, and this accompanies the position statement. On reflection, we’ve taken the
opportunity to use our corporate branding, as well as using some infographics developed
for a recent Ministerial event. We welcome the Boards views on this repackaging.
We will continue to develop more examples and infographics as our work on this evolves
and matures.
Next Steps
3. The Board is asked to approve these final versions of the position statement and staff
guidance note.
4. Natural Resources Wales staff will continue to engage directly with Welsh Government
officials to ensure our understanding aligns with their emerging policy and legislative
position. For example, we are working with Welsh Government officers to flesh out what
the new requirement for us to report on the state of natural resources will mean. The
Welsh Government’s deadline for the interim report is September 2014, with full report by
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November. The interim report will set out what the full report might look like, and provide
a means of engaging with stakeholders about future content.
5. Once the legislation is in place it is envisaged that an updated version of the position
statement and staff guidance notes will be produced.
6. The Interim Position Statement will help manage and address the risks identified in the
Board Paper on 17 December 2013 outlining our response to the Environment White
Paper consultation namely:
`There is a risk that Natural Resources Wales will be asked to take on significant new
duties without being allocated the financial resources to undertake them. This risk is high
in the development and early implementation phase, particularly where “new” and “old”
legal requirements may need to run in parallel. In mitigation, we will assess the impact of
these new duties in terms of the resource requirements. If we are unable to reallocate
sufficient resources within Natural Resources Wales, we will flag the issue to Welsh
Government, seeking extra funding and / or agreeing what work stops and the
consequences of this. We have also flagged this risk in the consultation response.
Some of the proposals would require new ways of working at the same time that Natural
Resources Wales will be seeking to undergo further structural changes. This will
represent significant change for staff who will need to develop new skills and capabilities
to work in a different and more integrated way. We will address this risk through the
workforce plan and by establishing an appropriate governance structure within Natural
Resources Wales to deliver this transition programme of work.
There is a risk that the outcomes of the Environment Bill White Paper proposals will not
be achieved in full regardless of the effort of Natural Resources Wales: this would impact
on our reputation. This is a particular issue where other bodies, who can deliver these
outcomes through their work, do not commit to do so. We have flagged this risk in the
consultation response and will seek to make the link through our input to related
legislative change for example, Welsh Government’s proposals for a Future Generations
Bill and a Planning Reform Bill.`
Financial Implications
7. The preparation and publication of the Interim Position Statement will not have direct
financial implications for Natural Resources Wales .Its availability will help manage the
financial implications of many of the proposals in the White Paper, which are significant
for Natural Resources Wales but difficult to quantify at this stage and until the detail of
the proposals is developed.
8. The Interim Position Statement will be communicated to Natural Resources Wales’ staff
and will be published bilingually on our website, in line with standard practice.
9. We will continue to input to Welsh Government’s work on the detailed policy and
legislative proposals and contribute through membership of, for example, Welsh
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Government’s Natural Resources Management Reference Group and Welsh
Government’s Natural Resources Management Programme Board.
10. We will also continue to brief stakeholders as part of ongoing routine liaison meetings.
Equality impact assessment
11. No Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out as it is not considered that this
paper raises any equality issues.
Annex 1:
Annex 2:
Final draft text for the Interim Natural Resources Wales Position Statement on
Natural Resource Management.
Draft text for the staff guidance note on the above.
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