Assembly Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay, raised a question in the Assembly yesterday regarding the threat posed by species decline.
Addressing Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Nick said: “As you're probably aware, I'm delighted to be the Assembly's species champion for the freshwater pearl mussel, one of the lesser known of the protected species, which is arguably Wales's most endangered species, and one of the most critically endangered species in the world. Now, a healthy population of freshwater pearl mussels is actually a barometer of a healthy river ecosystem. Their decline is due to the fact that they do need very pure water. So, I wonder if you could explain to us, Minister, in addition to what you've told Leanne Wood, what measures is the Welsh Government taking to seek to improve water quality in our rivers across Wales, in a way that will have a positive impact on the survival chances of my species, the freshwater pearl mussel, but also other species as well?”
Replying to Nick, the Minister said: “Thank you. As I say, I think the report was very sobering and very concerning, but I was pleased that it recognised that it's not too late to reverse the trend that we have seen. It's not just up to Government, it's up to everybody, and I think, going back to Leanne Wood's comments around the climate change emergency, that was about galvanising not just Governments but individuals and businesses and communities into action to realise that it is indeed an emergency and we don't have that long to reverse what is happening.
What we're doing is mainstreaming biodiversity into all our decision making. So, when I'm looking at marine policies, for instance, I need to ensure that we are supporting the ecosystem that will ensure that your species does not go into further decline.”