The Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS) is delivered by the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. This scheme supports direct action on managing natural resources across Wales delivering against the approach and principles laid down in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 & the Well‑being of future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

The SMS requires a collaborative approach to develop proposals for projects with a maximum of two to three year delivery phase. The purpose of the SMS is to support collaborative landscape scale projects delivering nature-based solutions to improve the resilience of our natural resources and ecosystems in a way that also
delivers benefits to farm businesses and the health and well-being of rural communities. SMS projects are undertaking actions to enhance biodiversity, improve green infrastructure, sustain better land and water
management and importantly, facilitate climate change adaptation and mitigation at landscape scale.

SMS collaborations include land owners,farmers and graziers who have seen the benefits working together can bring and have been inspired to work with new and traditional methods. Projects involve partnerships and
collaborations at a local level and landscape scale offering nature based solutions to tackle the decline in
biodiversity and to improve the resilience of our ecosystems.

Enabling collaboration at the right scale (site, regional, catchment, landscape or ecosystem) and the right locations is vital to tackling issues and maximising benefits.

The SMS is designed to meet RDP Focus Area 4: Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems dependent on
agriculture and forestry by:

  • Restoring and preserving biodiversity, including Natura 2000 areas and high nature value farming, and the state of European landscapes
  • Improving soil management
  • Improving water management
  • Carbon sequestration in agriculture and forestry.



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