UKBouldering.com





Poll

Did you respond?

Yes and I'm Welsh
2 (33.3%)
Yes and I'm English
1 (16.7%)
Pink Anasazi
3 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Voting closed: June 17, 2017, 04:47:59 pm

BMC Call to Action: New proposals - A threat to Welsh National Parks (Read 845 times)

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5927
  • Karma: +391/-7
  • insect overlord #1
New proposals: A threat to Welsh National Parks

Posted by Elfyn Jones on 30/05/2017


In March, the BMC and other environmental and recreational groups raised concerns about proposals regarding the future of Welsh National Parks. The Welsh Government is debating these proposals on 6 June. Your help is needed to safeguard National Parks in Wales; use your voice to protect the family of National Parks. Please act before 6 June and read on to see how you can help.

For some time, the BMC and other bodies have been raising concerns about Welsh Government’s plans to create new legislation on National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in Wales. 

In March, we asked you to intervene at short notice when we saw a leaked draft version of the Future Landscapes Wales (FLW) report. Disturbingly the report emphasised the importance of enabling development whilst containing no reference whatsoever to either the conservation purpose of National Parks or their role in promoting the quiet enjoyment of these special places. 

Your response was magnificent. Within 24 hours, the scheduled Welsh Assembly debate was postponed: your efforts alerted Assembly Members to the fact that they were being asked to debate something so important without having even had the chance to see the FLW report.

As the story broke in the media, Welsh Government was quick to say that this was ‘only a draft’ of the report. Now Welsh Government has published the final version FLW Finalised Report (English) and it is nearly identical to that draft. Apart from being full of jargon and badly drafted, the final version continues to give a deliberately false account of the important Marsden report which Welsh Government had previously side-lined.

The Marsden report said we must keep a key conservation safeguard known as the Sandford Principle, so that National Parks and AONBs continue to be properly protected and managed for their natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. None of these concepts can be found anywhere in the FLW report.What happens if we do nothing?

If the Future Landscapes Wales proposals go forward unchallenged, we will be heading not only for the break-up of the UK family of National Parks, as we have known them for over 60 years, but also that the core purpose of these cherished places will change.  Without a clear restatement of the Sandford Principle, and without a clear commitment to the conservation of landscape, natural beauty, and wildlife, the National Parks in Wales could be relegated to a lower tier of Protected Landscapes as defined internationally by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Welsh National Parks could become “hub” areas for the development of intensive tourism, renewable energy, and economic development, at the cost of protected landscapes and the promotion of quiet enjoyment that the national parks were established for. 

We can’t let this happen. Our National Parks surely mean more than a badge and a marketing brand.

Action is needed before 6 June!

Actions if you live in Wales:

Write to your five Assembly Members (that’s your constituency Member and all four of your regional Members) and ask them to help.

Click on this map to get the email addresses of your Assembly Members.

Tell them:

- Why you love the National Parks of Wales – Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast and how you benefit from their existence

- That you hope they will be seen to stand up for National Parks in the debate on 6 June, which will be broadcast live on senedd.tv

Ask them to:

- Stand up for proper protection, management, and resources for National Parks and AONBs in the debate on 6 June

Make landscape, natural beauty, wildlife, quiet enjoyment and cultural heritage central to the debate

- Insist on a Sandford-type conservation principle so that, when there is an unavoidable conflict of purposes, conservation has the higher priority

- Insist on full public consultation for any proposed changes to the purposes of National Parks

- Point out that key conservation and recreation organisations, including the BMC, the Wildlife Trusts, Alliance for National Parks (Cymru) and many others are unable to support the FLW report because it excludes the Sandford Principle.

- Make your email short and positive. Assembly Members are genuinely extremely busy people and sort emails are more likely to be taken notice of.

Actions if you live outside Wales:

- Write to Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs  at Correspondence.Lesley.Griffiths@gov.wales and copy your message to the other party spokespeople for environment – Simon Thomas (Plaid Cymru) Simon.Thomas@assembly.wales and  David Melding (Conservative) David.Melding@assembly.wales.

- Tell her: How much and why National Parks in Wales matter to you.

- Ask her: To show that she understands the importance of protecting, conserving and managing our last big areas of unspoilt countryside. Ask her to move beyond the narrow and old-fashioned view that getting more benefits from National Parks means ‘freeing them up’ to more development and more concrete.

Thank you so much for doing your bit to protect National Parks.

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5927
  • Karma: +391/-7
  • insect overlord #1
Added a poll out of curiousity

creedence

more Offline
  • *
  • regular
  • Posts: 41
  • Karma: +6/-0
Only just getting time to reply to this.
I did email my local constituency Member, Sian Gwenllian (Plaid).  Just thought I'd stick the response in here for everyone's perusal.

My email:

Quote
I am emailing you in regards to the forthcoming Welsh Government debate about forthcoming proposals regarding the future of Welsh National Parks.

I am extremely concerned that these proposals are going to see a change in the way our National Parks are managed and preserved.  Myself, and countless others don't call Snowdonia home because it's a hub for economic development, intensive tourism or renewable energy.  We love it because it's wild, beautiful, isolated and pure.  It is real.

Without a recommitment to the Sandford principle, the very essence of our homes, our lives, could be compromised.  Whenever there is an unavoidable conflict of purposes, conservation must always have the higher priority.

I trust you will stand up for our National Parks at the debate on the 6th June, and urge you to make landscape, natural beauty, wildlife, quiet enjoyment and cultural heritage central to the discussions.

And the response:

Quote
I must point out that the future landscapes report is not a Plaid Cymru (or Assembly) report but one commissioned directly by the Welsh Government. Plaid Cymru has undertaken no policy work on removing the Sandford Principle or advocated this at any time in the past or currently. In short, it is not our policy.

The report is not amendable or subject to change by the Assembly. However if the government were to ever propose legislative change in the conservation duty of national parks such legislation would be subject to full committee and Assembly scrutiny. I would want to see the evidence for any changes, including any to the Sandford Principle. This evidence is not in the current report.

I would also be in favour of full consultation with all interested parties should there be any changes proposed to the purposes of National Parks.

I hope this clarifies my position. Thank you very much for your interest.

So it sounds like she'd received a lot of emails suggesting that it was Plaid's idea?  As she assumed that was what I was suggesting, which I didn't.
But at least it appears that Plaid wouldn't agree to any changes proposed by the report without further study and evidence, as well as full consultation with people.