Like many nations, Wales is the economic country it is, not by political design but largely because of historical accident. And there has never been a better time or more reason to change. We have left the European Union and have also declared a Climate Emergency. A more purposeful approach is now required to achieve the net zero carbon goals set by Welsh Government
Therefore, we are proposing five integrated strategies for how Wales can achieve a just transition to become a new high-value forest nation. A transition that would create substantial employment and a transition for which Wales has many natural advantages.
Wales has suitable and available land for afforestation, fantastic climate for growing the kind of trees that industry needs, the land and workforce for new industries and proximity to almost limitless export markets for high-value timber products.
Wales must move towards more sustainable low-carbon industrial and land-use options that are geared to meeting the resource needs of the low-carbon society and that are economically viable.
Wales is starting from a long way back. This paper sets out how our slow start can be turned to our strategic advantage if Welsh Government decides to lead in the adoption of integrated economic policies outlined in this paper that are purposefully aligned across our construction, manufacturing and land-use sectors.