By Winter Dotto
Today is St David’s Day. As St David is the patron saint of Wales, what better way to mark it than with a blog post from our new Wales Liaison Officer.
I joined JNCC in late January as the Wales Liaison Officer, on secondment from NRW - an incredible opportunity to work collaboratively with Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and JNCC. My background in marine ecology, monitoring analysis and having worked on the State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) will hopefully stand me in good stead to help develop solutions to the nature and climate emergencies. I am really looking forward to getting to know new colleagues in JNCC and Welsh Government and making new working relationships with colleagues in NRW.
The last couple of years have been challenging in many ways; we are all developing new ways of working, adjusting to a new normal as we make strides to overcome the pandemic. One lesson I have taken from this has been the need to work more collaboratively towards shared priorities. I feel this is where my role comes into play, liaising, facilitating, and working with colleagues in Welsh Government and NRW towards achieving common goals. Over the last month, I have found out about the vast amount of work already taking place in JNCC for Wales - work on Marine Protected Areas, development of Earth Observation tools, groups that are looking at the 30X30 protected area targets, biodiversity indicators and climate change. The work is varied, interesting and cutting edge. I know I have only scratched the surface here; but I hope I can make meaningful contributions to the work already in progress and explore some new opportunities.
My previous work in NRW was in monitoring analysis. I feel that evidence is crucial in reaching environmentally robust decisions that will help nature recovery and tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies. JNCC and the organisations it works with in Wales are well placed to deliver evidence that contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources towards a more adaptive diverse environment. To maximise benefits, I feel it is important we use the evidence we have to its full potential, collaborate with others to obtain further evidence, and prioritise according to country-specific needs to inform both local and national decision making.
In a few weeks I will be attending the 2022 CAPER Conference, on the impacts of air pollution, held in Swansea this year. I am looking forward to learning about the latest innovative research taking place locally as well as internationally, and the work already in place to improve air quality in Wales. I am really looking forward to attending an in-person event and getting out into the natural environment to learn more about the wonderful world of lichens as monitors of air quality.
Today I’ll be celebrating St David’s day with some nice leek and potato soup and of course some Welsh cakes. I am really enjoying learning Welsh, so I’d just like to say 'Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus' (Happy Saint David’s day). Hope you all have a lovely day and just remember; the daffodils are coming through; and spring is on its way!
If you’d like to know more about the work we do in Wales, please do get in touch.
You can also read this blog post in Welsh.