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Agriculture (Wales) Act 2023

Section 4 – Sustainable Land Management indicators and targets

40.Section 4 requires the Welsh Ministers to prepare and publish indicators and targets to measure progress towards achieving the SLM objectives through the exercise of the functions to which the duty in section 2 applies.

41.Subsection (1) requires the Welsh Ministers to prepare a statement which sets out indicators that are to be applied to measure progress towards achieving the SLM objectives through the exercise of the functions to which the duty in section 2 applies, and targets in relation to those indicators.

42.Indicators will provide metrics by means of which the contribution of an action to the SLM objectives can be measured. Targets will set out the desired level of progress against the metric a specific indicator details.

43.For example, the third objective (“maintain and enhance the resilience of ecosystems and the benefits they provide.”) may be addressed by several indicators, one of which could be a decrease in the levels of pollutants in rivers downstream of agricultural and ancillary activities. A specific target would then be set against that indicator and both the indicator and target would be reported against in the SLM report prepared under section 6.

44.Subsection (2) provides that the statement must contain, as a minimum, at least one distinct indicator for each SLM objective, and at least one distinct target relating to at least one distinct indicator for each SLM objective. This is to ensure accurate and effective accounting of progress.

45.Subsection (3) to (5) provides that the statement may also set out further indicators (each of which may be for one SLM objective or more than one), and further targets (each of which may relate to one indicator, whether set under subsection (2) or subsection (3), or to more than one).

46.Subsection (6) provides that an indicator or target may relate to Wales or any part of Wales.

47.Subsection (7) provides that a target may be set by reference to any period that the Welsh Ministers consider appropriate.

48.Subsection (8) provides that the statement must be published and laid before Senedd Cymru by the Welsh Ministers no later than 31 December 2025.

49.Subsection (9) provides that the Welsh Ministers may review and revise the statement at any time and subsection (10) provides that subsections (2) to (8) apply in relation to a revised statement as they apply to the original statement.

50.Subsection (11) provides that where the Welsh Ministers revise the statement, they must, as soon as reasonably practicable, publish the revised statement and lay it before Senedd Cymru.

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