Wales is one of the most nature deleted countries in the world and farmers must be supported to reverse this trend, Welsh ministers heard.
Environmental and farming groups gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff today to support a WWF-led campaign for the Welsh Agriculture Bill to prioritise nature recovery.
They called on Members of the Senedd (MSs) to amend the bill – which is set to pave the way for a new farm support scheme – so that it delivers for wildlife, before it is passed into legislation later this month.
Soil Association Head of Welsh Policy Andrew Tuddenham attended the event at the Senedd.
“Wales is well placed to produce red meat in a way that helps the environment – but intensive farming has driven nature to the brink, putting farming and the wildlife we cherish under threat.
“A shocking one in six species are threatened in Wales and farmers were at breaking point last year after the driest summer for more than a century. This clearly is not sustainable.
“The Welsh Government must act now to ensure the Agriculture Bill recognises the leading role farmers have to play in restoring nature.
“Nature-friendly farming like organic and agroecology is essential. Slashing reliance on profit-eroding inputs of imported feed, fertilisers and pesticides makes sense for protecting both businesses and wildlife.
“Farms where nature thrives in well managed habitats – healthy soils, thicker hedgerows, abundant trees, and diverse grasslands – are in a better place to maintain food production in the face of climate change.
“The Welsh Government rightly states that the climate and nature emergencies represent the biggest threat to global food security. The Agriculture Bill must not be a missed opportunity to clearly address the nature emergency in Wales and support farmers to make the big changes that are urgently needed.”