With the outcome of the public inquiry into the proposed M4 relief road expected soon, lobbying of politicians by supporters and opponents is hotting up. Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, concerned by the conflict with the need to achieve the Government’s own carbon reduction targets, has renewed her opposition. She is backing a report that says that the £1.4 billion cost of the motorway would be better spent on an integrated package of sustainable transport measures including public transport and active travel. The report is available at https://futuregenerations.wales/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/20180912-Transport-Fit-for-Future-Generations-C.pdf
There is to be a day of free talks celebrating Welsh wildlife at the National Museum, Cardiff, on 27 October. Details at https://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/10281/Unknown-Wales-Conference/ – booking essential.
Welsh Government has published the Abergavenny Agri-Urban Action Group’s report for 2016-18 at https://gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/cap/wales-rural-network/news/abergavenny-agri-urban-integrated-action-plan/?lang=en. The plan aims to be a guideline for food development in the Abergavenny area, with proposals including a Food Hub centre of excellence bringing producers and consumers closer together.
The ‘Sustainable Academy Awards’ is an ambitious new event which draws on decades of combined experience in the sector from Cynnal Cymru and RenewableUK Cymru. The Awards are being held for the first time in 2018, and are a fusion of the Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales Awards and the Wales Green Energy Awards, organised by RenewableUK Cymru. Lots of categories; submit by 10 September; full details at http://www.sustainableacademy.wales/about/
Environet Cymru is changing its name – to Invest in Nature Cymru (www.wcva.org.uk/invest-in-nature-cymru). They will still offer a free signposting and advice service and promote the work of environmental and community groups through their digital network. However, the new name will tie in with an important strand of their work, which is to demonstrate how care of our natural world underpins all our prosperity and well-being.
Welsh Government has launched a consultation on their proposals for a post-Brexit Land Management Programme for Wales to entirely replace the CAP. Full details at https://gov.wales/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2018/launchofbrexitourland/?lang=en. Closes 30 October.
Natural Resources Wales’ Area Statements are now live at https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/area-statements/?lang=en.
The National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee has called for a ten-year strategy to boost low-carbon housing, including all new-builds to be zero-carbon and retro-fitting of existing homes – both with financial incentives.
Welsh Government has reversed a decision to cut its National Park budget and announced a set of priorities for the Parks and AONBs – including a refreshed woodland strategy, halting the loss of biodiversity, a greater focus on green energy and decarbonisation, and realising the economic potential of the landscape, boosting tourism and outdoor recreation.
There will be an open forum at MCC’s special Strong Communities Select Committee meeting at County Hall on Monday, 30 July (10.00am). The meeting is to discuss the council’s controversial policy on advertising boards, café seating, etc within the highway, and the committee will be making recommendations.