Last month the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James attended the latest Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal, Canada. A statement was released by the Minister in support of the “30×30” targets. The Minister stated: “For Wales, one of the world’s most nature-depleted nations a “drastic acceleration of action” will be needed to reach these targets by 2030.” She also declared her ambition for “Wales to be a global leader of change ensuring good environmental status for 30% of our ecosystems by 2030.”
“Biodiversity is interconnected, intertwined, and indivisible with human life on Earth. Our societies and our economies depend on healthy and functioning ecosystems. There is no sustainable development without biodiversity. There can be no stable climate without biodiversity.” (UNDP)
We all have a role to play and if you are keen to learn more about what you or your organisation can do to help tackle the nature emergency we invite you to attend our online ecoliteracy course, Nabod Natur – Nature Wise. This course will teach you about how the natural environment works, the threats it faces, and how we can all help nature thrive.
Nabod Natur – Nature Wise is an online training programme from Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales which teaches you about how the natural environment works, the threats it faces, and how we can all help nature thrive.
Thanks to funding from the Great Western Railway Community Fund, we have developed the Nature Wise Urban Eco-literacy course, with a specific focus on how practical action including sustainable transport can benefit nature in an urban setting.
10 courses will be available from October 2022 to March 2023, offering 120 free places to staff, volunteers or members of voluntary organisations and community groups located within the urban areas along the GWR’s mainline – Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend, Cardiff and Newport.
About Nabod Natur – Nature Wise
Nature Wise eco-literacy is a science-based, action-focused course to help you to understand the relationships between people and natural systems. It shares knowledge, builds understanding and provide the tools to motivate and catalyse action.
What you will learn about:
Your Nature Wise eco-literacy course will help you to become more knowledgeable and confident about helping to tackle the nature crisis both on your doorstep and further afield. Part of the course involves developing an action plan for nature based on what you will have explored during the course. This can be for your personal life or for your group/organisation.
The course is interactive. Attendees will work in small groups and also take part in group discussions to explore course topics.
Who should apply?
The Nature Wise Urban Eco-literacy course is for:
Urban based community groups or voluntary organisation based in the areas along the GWR’s mainline – covering Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend, Cardiff and Newport.
Any member of staff, volunteer or trustee for a voluntary organisation or community group can register.
Town and community councillors in these areas are also eligible.
Session 1 – (2.5 hours)
Session 2 – (2.5 hours)
Tuesday 18th October 2022 10am – 12:30pm
Thursday 20th October 2022 10am – 12:30pm
Tuesday 15th November 2022 10am – 12:30pm
Thursday 17th November 2022 10am – 12.30pm
Tuesday 29th November 2022 10am – 12:30pm
Thursday 1st December 2022 10am – 12:30pm
Tuesday 31st January 2023 10am – 12:30pm
Thursday 2nd February 2023 10am – 12:30pm
Monday 6th February 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Wednesday 8th February 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Tuesday 28th February 2023 10am – 12:30pm
Thursday 2nd March 2023 10am – 12:30pm
Tuesday 14th March 2023 10am – 12:30pm
Thursday 16th March 2023 10am – 12:30pm
Monday 20th March 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Wednesday 22nd March 2023 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Course Commitment (5 hours)
You’ll need just five hours to take part, centred on two online sessions held during the same week, held on a Tuesday and a Thursday or a Monday and Wednesday depending on the dates you select.
On successful completion of both session you will be awarded a certificate.
Please note: you must attend both sessions to complete the course.
Places are limited, so we are aiming to allocate places as fairly as possible.
Do I need to have any prior knowledge of nature systems?
Nature Wise is a short course for everyone. No previous knowledge is necessary.
What do I need to participate?
You will need access to computer with internet access to attend and participate in the online facilitated sessions.
We recommend a computer or tablet as you will be shown course materials containing images, slides and videos.
The online sessions will take part on Zoom. In the sessions you will need access to a microphone.
What if I cannot attend on those days?
You do need to attend both sessions to complete the course. If you are not available at the advertised times but would still like to do the course, please get in touch and we will add you to a list for a course scheduled outside these times.
What if my whole group wants to do the course?
If you have a group of 10 or more that would like to do the course, please get in touch and we can see if it is possible to arrange a separate course at a time to suit you.
Will there be more courses?
We will be running 10 courses for up to 120 people between October 2022 to March 2023.
Learn how to create a sustainable development strategy for your business.
New legislation coupled with a significant and growing market demand for brands, products and services that demonstrate positive environmental and social impacts along their supply chain means that sustainability is now essential for every business.
This new training programme is proven to equip participants with the critical skills and practical know-how to build meaningful action plans and implement purposeful strategies that respond to both the climate and nature crisis, whilst satisfying customer needs and building commercial success.
Delivered as a series of tutor led modules, underpinned by best practice examples and supported by one to one guidance, our expert trainers will guide each participant to develop, test and refine their own sustainability plans and gain confidence to immediately take action where it matters.
Up to 12 people
15 hours across 8 weeks
Online or in-person
Subject to successful completion of the course
Who is this course for?
Designed by Cynnal Cymru and Ecostudio and informed by evidence-based practice, this training is for owners, senior and aspiring managers from ambitious businesses that want to:
Define what sustainability means in the context of their own businesses and communicate why it is vital to their future success
Adapt to rising energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.
Understand key concepts including Net Zero, Circular Economy, Social Value, as well as the Future Generations Act and the UN SDGs Framework.
Demonstrate how their business aligns with CSR and ESG objectives of trade buyers as well as meeting consumer needs.
Report progress to different stakeholders in ways that withstands scrutiny and avoids greenwash.
Gain access to tried and tested tools, explore different eco-labels and sustainability certifications and know which ones are right for their business.
Future proof their businesses, enhance their reputation and stay relevant to their customers.
Your course tutors
Iain is an award-winning sustainability consultant and business mentor. His experience is in designing training programmes, advising policy makers and delivering projects that build the capacity and capability of project teams to do sustainability for themselves.
Since establishing Ecostudio in 2008, he has helped many organisations to build commercially sound strategies, create responsible brands and innovative products, packaging and services, that deliver measurable environmental performance and social value for their customers, clients and stakeholders.
About Cynnal Cymru
Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for Sustainable Development in Wales.
About Eco Studio
Ecostudio is an award-winning sustainability and circular economy consultancy.
Environmental volunteering is a great way to support the planet whilst giving back to your local community and there are many opportunities that can fit into your schedule.
Dr Karolina Rucinska, Sustainability Consultant at Cynnal Cymru shares her volunteering experiences with Oasis Cardiff and Good Gym:
This summer I will continue my work as a head gardener at Oasis Cardiff, a charity offering a warm Welsh welcome to asylum seekers and refugees. Oasis is based in a former church with a paved courtyard on a busy road full of takeaways. The area is littered and there are almost no trees or shrubs on the street apart from the ones at Oasis. My job is to ensure they flower, attract birds and pollinators, and grow from strength to strength. This year was particularly difficult because of the long periods of rain followed by drought but knowing that life is better with plants around us, keeps me motivated to do more.
When I am not looking at the garden at Oasis, I get involved with tasks at the Good Gym. It is a UK charity whose motto is, “Do good, get fit”. Instead of going to an actual gym, we walk, cycle or run to community centres, gardens, and allotments to do various tasks, from weeding and planting to building sheds and fruit cages. We are often referred to visit elderly people living alone who need help in their gardens too, so all in all, there are a lot of nature-based tasks. It is hard work at times, but incredibly rewarding.
Attend a foraging workshop to truly realise how incredible plants are even in the middle of a city. I was lucky to be invited to one in Bute Park with Tizzy from Forager Cardiff, so I recommend getting in touch.
Take part in citizen science projects – The Springwatch website features a range of projects from hedgehog spotting to beetle sightings, you can contribute to find out how little or much wildlife is on your doorstep.
265 parks and green spaces in Wales have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award. They include a diverse range of sites, from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.
Now in its third decade, the international Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that a park or green space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Wales still holds more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites, which are maintained and run by volunteers.
Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:
“Our local green spaces have a vital role to play in connecting us to nature. These awards go to prove that Wales’ parks and similar areas are doing a wonderful job in providing quality places to relax and enjoy.
“The standard required to achieve Green Flag status is very high so I want to congratulate all of the sites recognised for providing excellent, year-round facilities to local people and visitors alike.
“It’s fantastic to see we still hold more than a third of the UK’s Green Flag community sites in Wales – especially as the last two years have taught us all of the importance of nature and green spaces on our mental and physical wellbeing.”
Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:
“The last few years have really shown us just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”
Keep Wales Tidy are always on the lookout for new places to join the Green Flag Awards. If you’d like to put your park or green space on the map, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru for more information.
Since the first year of Local Places for Nature in 2020, nearly 800 gardens have been created, restored and enhanced. Community groups and organisations of all shapes and sizes got involved – from disability charities and youth groups to social enterprises and carer groups.
Applications have now reopened, and communities are being urged to get involved early to avoid missing out. The new online application system makes it very easy to apply and review progress, as well as offering resources, guidance and updates from the Local Places for Nature scheme. You can choose from small or larger-scale wildlife and food growing gardens, or for the first time the scheme is offering a new community orchard package.
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said:
“The pandemic has given us all a greater appreciation of nature and its importance on our health and mental wellbeing.
“I’m pleased to be supporting another year of Local Places for Nature. The programme makes it easy for people from all backgrounds and abilities to get involved, as a community, to create and enjoy nature in the places where we live and spend most of our time. “Valuing nature and taking small local level actions is so important as part of the collective effort needed to tackle the nature emergency, and support the variety of plants and animals we love to see in Wales.”
Deputy Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy Louise Tambini said:
“Over the past two years, people have really appreciated the value of nature and we’re delighted to offer again free garden packs to communities. We know that gardening and being out in nature has a positive impact on mental wellbeing, and it’s a great way to keep fit and meet new people. Through Local Places for Nature, we have created hundreds of new habitats and spaces for nature, which is vital in the current climate emergency and decline in biodiversity.”
“Thanks to the ongoing support of Welsh Government and our partners our garden packs include all the materials and tools you need to create a new space for nature and Keep Wales Tidy staff will be on hand to install the garden.”
The initiative is jointly funded by the Welsh Government, part of a wider Welsh Government ‘Local Places for Nature’ programme committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’ and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Mbale Trees project – funded by the long-standing Wales and Africa programme – aims to plant over 3 million trees a year in the hilly, heavily deforested area of eastern Uganda in a bid to increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Working with Size of Wales and the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), free tree seedlings are distributed to local people to be planted on smallholdings and land in the community, along with fuel efficient stoves and advice and support for other livelihoods, like bee-keeping.
The project links with the Welsh Government’s Plant! Scheme, planting two trees for every child born or adopted in Wales – one planted in Uganda and one planted here in Wales.
In recent years Mbale has been affected by heavy rainfall and fatal landslides, caused by a combination of climate change and excessive logging due to poor enforcement of protection laws and a growing population.
Fast-growing trees protect local people from the effects of soil erosion and fruit grown offers a sustainable source of food and an extra income.
The 10 millionth tree milestone was achieved in autumn 2019, with First Minister Mark Drakeford marking the occasion by planting a tree in Cardiff’s Bute Park as another was planted Uganda by a young climate change activist.
Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, whose portfolio includes Wales and Africa, said:
For more than a decade Wales has developed and deepened its community-based links with sub-Sahara countries in Africa. This mutually-beneficial approach has long supported sustainable development and solidarity, of which we can be justifiably proud. On top of planting 15 million trees – a fantastic achievement in itself – Wales has helped to protect an area of tropical rainforest twice the size of Wales and supported 16,000 families across 30 villages who may have otherwise faced severe hardship.
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said:
The Mbale Trees initiative is an example of what can be achieved when nations work together to combat climate change. Our pledge to plant 3 million more every year for the next 5 years will deliver substantial benefits, not just for those within Mbale, but it will have a considerable global impact on climate change. This flagship scheme is another example of Wales leading the way in sustainable development and action on climate change, for all.
Director of Size of Wales, Nicola Pulman, said:
We are delighted to have hit the landmark of 15 million trees. It is a testament to the hard work of the communities and local organisations in Mbale who have worked tirelessly to make it happen. Every tree grown benefits the local area, but also helps strengthen our planet’s resilience to the threat of climate change. We therefore encourage everyone in Wales to support the programme in its next phase and help us reach our ultimate goal of 25 million trees by 2025.
Godfrey Natwaluma, Programme Manager at the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), said:
We are proud Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise has supported over 30,000 households in 6 districts to plant trees. These districts have all previously experienced the devastating landslides. Since 2010, we have at least distributed 15 million trees and counting and we are optimistic that by the year 2025, we shall have supported our target communities with 25million trees. Our technical field team, through implementing partners, have been in position to monitor the production process of tree seedlings right away from a network of 45 community tree nursery beds that we have as an organization, and we plan to expand the project to further regions.
This follows recent international research showing the fragility of many of our ecosystems with more than a million species at risk of extinction due to pressures including habitat loss, pollution, invasive non-native species and climate change. This declaration will put Welsh Government action on nature on a par with climate change in terms of urgency and significance.
We know that this growing concern for the state of nature – or our ecological foundations – is shared by our members which is why we are pleased to offer a free place to all our members on our new eco-literacy course, Nabod Natur- Nature Wise.
Aimed at explaining the global nature crisis in an accessible way, the course provides an overview of the intricate way that ecosystems function to sustain life. It then explores the links between human activity and the disruption in natural cycles that we are experiencing. The course also covers national and international frameworks for nature recovery as well as practical steps that are being encouraged or pioneered.
Most important to us, the course creates the space for participants to apply course knowledge and concepts to their own lives, identifying the ways most useful and beneficial to them to act for nature recovery in their organisation, at home and in the community. We look forward to you joining us!
First Open Course: 20 and 22 July: 2 x online sessions with optional self-directed study in between. Total time commitment 5-6 hours. Cost: £85 per learner with discounts for group bookings. To book your place or discuss bespoke training for your organisation – please contact email@example.com
It will make the public bodies listed in the Act think more about the long-term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach.
Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales is the leading organisation for sustainable development in Wales. Our mission is to make Wales the first Sustainable Nation. Cynnal Cymru’s overall focus is on developing and promoting a sustainable, resource-efficient and low-carbon society through engagement with enterprises, the third sector and communities. We connect local and national organisations together from across Wales to help each other develop more sustainable solutions and deliver on the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This will help us to create a Wales that we all want to live in, now and in the future.
To make sure we are all working towards the same vision, the Act puts in place seven well-being goals.
Sustainable Development Principle and Ways of Working
The Act puts in place a ‘sustainable development principle’ which tells organisations how to go about meeting their duty under the Act.
There are five things that public bodies need to think about to show that they have applied the sustainable development principle. Following these ways of working will help us work together better, avoid repeating past mistakes and tackle some of the long-term challenges we are facing.
Why do we need this law?
Wales faces a number of challenges now and in the future, such as climate change, poverty, health inequalities and jobs and growth. To tackle these we need to work together. To give our children and grandchildren a good quality of life we need to think about how the decisions we make now will impact them. This law will make sure that our public sector does this.
Having staged three major conferences together in 2010/11, Volcano and Cynnal Cymru have taken the initiative in two parallel directions. Volcano is leading an examination of how the concept of sustainable development informs and influences the creative process and artistic practice while Cynnal Cymru convened a partnership involving (the development body for theatres and arts centres in Wales), BRASS and Julie’s Bicycle to address sustainable development in the context of the built environment and theatre estate. The Creu Cymru project has gathered a data baseline of the environmental impacts of 42 venues around Wales. From this baseline, working with a pilot group, the project will provide tools and support to enable theatres and venues to improve their environmental performance and influence the behaviours of audiences, staff, suppliers and business partners.
The then proposed Welsh Government Sustainable Development Bill (now the Well-being of Future Generations Act) provided a context for this project. This legislation will place a statutory duty upon public bodies in Wales to adopt the concept of sustainable development as the central organising principle upon which all organisational decisions are made and to provide evidence on how this is implemented in practice.
Many Creu Cymru members are part of a local authority structure and most are in receipt of Arts Council funding. In both these respects they can assume that the Bill will have an impact upon them. The project helped to provide Creu Cymru members with the means and data to demonstrate compliance in advance of The Bill’s implementation.