Biodiversity - Public Goods Scheme

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee agreed to undertake an inquiry on biodiversity.


Natural Resources Wales’s (NRW’s) State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) concluded that many species in Wales are in decline and that no habitat is truly ‘resilient’. The NGOs’ collaborative report, The State of Nature showed a decline over the long term (1970-2013) of 57% of wild plant species, 60% of butterflies and 40% of birds in Wales.

The Welsh Government and other public bodies have a duty under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 to promote the resilience of ecosystems and maintain and enhance biodiversity. The Welsh Government’s Natural Resource Policy outlines the opportunities, priorities and risks for the sustainable management of natural resources in Wales. The Welsh Government also has a Nature Recovery Plan which is aimed at addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss.

Stakeholders have emphasised that the next significant opportunity for the Welsh Government to restore and enhance biodiversity is through its future land management policy, particularly the proposed Public Goods scheme outlined in the consultation Brexit and Our Land.

Monitoring biodiversity is an important aspect of environmental schemes in assessing their success. The Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) was commissioned by the Welsh Government to assess the performance of Glastir. The Welsh Government has recently procured the Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring and Modelling Programme (ERAMMP) to ‘establish a key evidence base informing Well-being of Future Generations indicators, the State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR), the Natural Resources Policy and the Decarbonisation Programme.’

In this inquiry, the CCERA Committee explored biodiversity restoration in the context of the proposed Public Goods scheme.

The terms of reference for the inquiry were:

  • How could the Welsh Government’s proposed Public Goods scheme, set out in Brexit and Our Land, be applied to restore biodiversity;
  • How could the various existing Welsh Government policies and legislation for biodiversity restoration be applied in the design and implementation of the proposed Public Goods scheme; and
  • What lessons can be learned from the Glastir and Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of schemes to support the restoration of biodiversity. How should the new Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring and Modelling Programme (ERAMMP) be designed and implemented effectively for this purpose?

Evidence gathering

The Committee held evidence sessions with stakeholders to inform its work on 7 February 2019 and 21 February 2019.

The Committee received written evidence from stakeholders and these have been published.


The Committee published its report, The Welsh Government’s proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme: restoring biodiversity (PDF 2MB) on 23 October 2019 and the Welsh Government responded (PDF 236KB) on 11 December 2019.



Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 11/12/2018