Essential ingredients for a sustainable future – Why do we need independent institutions, and how should they work for the long term?
The ‘Essential ingredients for a sustainable future’ two-day conference in Cardiff this week involved leading lights from the world of sustainable development. Commissioners, ombudsmen and representatives from the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Australia, Canada, Germany and India all spoke about their own research, policies and ideas on how best to integrate best practice from their own regions.
This was set to a backdrop of the Well-being of Future Generation Bill being sealed as an Act on the morning of the second day. The Minister of Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant and the Director for Sustainable Development for the United Nations, Mr Nikhil Seth spoke about the historical importance of this Act, not just for Wales but as an example to other nations.
The Wales future generations Act captures the spirit and essence of two decades of United Nations work in the area of sustainable development and serves as a model for other regions and countries. ‘One Wales, One Planet’ captures it all. We hope that what Wales is doing today the world will do tomorrow. Action, more than words, is the hope for our current and future generations.
Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development
Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures opened and closed the conference and was one of the parties responsible for arranging such an important meeting of minds at such a monumental time in Wales. Peter Davies thanked Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales, The World Futures Council, the Welsh Government and Oxford Martin for their support in organising the conference.
The importance of this meeting of sustainable development leaders from around the world is embodied by the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
By holding the meeting in Cardiff the leaders recognise that Wales is playing a crucial role and setting a precedent to a practical application of what is often perceived as a difficult to define subject matter.
It is now important that we build on the excellent ideas from our international colleagues and communicate what sustainable development means and how we can work together to create a tomorrow worthy of our future generations.
The conferences ended with Jane Davidson’s, Director of the Wales Institute for Sustainability (UWTSD), adaptation of a Satish Kumar quote:
We can’t expect others to transform if we don’t transform ourselves.