CBD implementation: Wales

Note: this page refers to activities specific to the implementation of the CBD in Wales. A separate page provides information on activities relevant to the implementation of the CBD across the UK, including those of relevance to Wales. 

Relevant Government Bodies

Environmental issues, including biodiversity conservation and management, have broadly been devolved from the UK Government to the Welsh Government. Within the Welsh Government; the Economy, Skills and Natural Resources Group leads on the implementation of the CBD in Wales.

Natural Resources Wales is an arms-length public body of the Welsh Government whose purpose is to pursue the sustainable management of Wales’ natural resources. Within its wide remit it is responsible for advising and regulating on matters relating to biodiversity in Wales. 

Relevant Government Policies

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 aims to further the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of present and future generations of Wales. The act sets out a series of well-being goals which public bodies are required to work towards including ‘A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change)’. These wellbeing goals require public bodies to think longer-term to take a more joined-up approach to preventing societal problems. 

The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 sets out how Wales will plan and manage natural resources (including biodiversity) in a sustainable way. It explicitly links sustainable management of natural resources with the achievement of the well-being goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. In doing so, it enshrines the principles of the CBD in Welsh law. This includes requiring Natural Resources Wales to pursue the ecosystem approach across all its functions.

The Welsh Government published the ‘Nature recovery action plan: Our Strategy for Nature’ in 2015. The plan aims to support Wales’ biodiversity and consists of three parts. Part 1 ‘Our Strategy for Nature’ sets out how Wales will implement the CBD through the commitments and provisions of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. The Welsh Government designates Part 1 as its national biodiversity strategy. Part 2 sets out the actions required to meet the objectives of Part 1 (i.e. an implementation plan), while Part 3 sets out the governance structures for the plan. Part 2 has been refreshed for 2020-21 to provide focus and prioritisation within a fast changing policy context and the emerging ecological crisis.

The Natural Resources Policy identifies three national priorities for managing natural resources: delivering Nature-based Solutions; renewable energy; and circular economy. The Policy also sets out what will be done to support these priorities. 

In 2021, the Welsh Government published a new programme for government 2021-2026 which embeds the Government's response to the climate and nature emergency in everything they do.

The Welsh Government has also published an 'Action Plan for Pollinators in Wales' and a 'National Peatland Action Programme 2020-2025' which further contribute to the implementation of the CBD. 


In 2020, the Welsh Government published the second State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) for Wales 2020. The report assesses the extent to which Welsh natural resources are being sustainably managed and provides an assessment of the state of biodiversity in Wales. The report links the resilience of Welsh natural resources to the well-being of the people of Wales. The report builds on the evidence base in the first SoNaRR, illustrating some of the key challenges, priorities and opportunities for the sustainable management of natural resources. These reports are a statutory requirement of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.

Section 10 of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 requires Welsh Ministers to set national indicators to measure progress towards the achievement of the national well-being goals (as stated in the act). The resulting 46 national wellbeing indicators include ones relevant to measuring the progress of CBD implementation within Wales. 

Additional information about biodiversity in Wales is also available from the Wales Biodiversity Partnership website