The votes are in and counted and it’s now clear that Wales will have a Labour-led government over the next five years. But what will this mean for Wales’ woods and trees?
The good news is that all main parties made useful and important commitments about what they do to ensure that Wales benefits more from our woodland and trees. A total of 18 members of the new Assembly signed up to the Woodland Trust’s Candidate Commitment, undertaking to work for the expansion of native woodland cover throughout the duration of the next Assembly. This certainly bodes well for the future! What’s more, Welsh Labour’s manifesto includes a substantive section on the benefits of woodland and trees. The Party’s vision for woodlands in it implies a significant increase in woodland cover which is in line with the Woodland Trust’s aspirations.
The number of strong commitments to forestry and woodland include:
- Respond to climate change by helping reducing our carbon footprint by maximising our woodlands for carbon abatement. By 2050 our woodlands alone could abate half of Wales’ annual CO2 emissions, if carbon reduction targets are achieved (This figure implies a very substantial increase in the rate of tree planting.)
- Make a positive contribution to biodiversity, landscapes and heritage, reducing the environmental pressures and ensuring environmental quality.
Labour’s manifesto also draws attention to the party’s record in Government of planting a native tree for every child born in Wales. What better way can there be to mark the beginning of a new life?
Anghared Evans, Campaigns Officer Wales