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Leading Environmentalist to Meet Welsh Minister for Talks on Sustainability Law

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Renowned sustainable development commentator and environmental campaigner, Jonathon Porritt, will be in Cardiff today (Monday 24 September) to participate in discussions on the Welsh Government’s proposals to introduce sustainability legislation in Wales.

At the invitation of Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, Peter Davies, the WWF-UK Ambassador will meet with John Griffiths A.M., Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Assembly Members from the Environment & Sustainability Committee and Cynnal Cymru’s new CEO, David Fitzpatrick, as Welsh Government develops its Sustainable Development Bill.

Joining key representatives from public, private and the third sector, Mr Porritt will participate in discussions on global examples of sustainable development governance, building on the findings of the Rio+20 global conference.

Speaking about his visit Jonathon Porritt said:

“Wales has put itself in a position to demonstrate to people what real leadership on sustainable development looks like – at a time when people are crying out for policies which create jobs and generate wealth whilst simultaneously protecting the environment and addressing the challenge of accelerating climate change. It’s an exciting opportunity – and needs to be seized urgently and with real political purpose.”

The discussions have been organised by Wales’ sustainable development organisation Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales to strengthen sustainable development dialogue and raise awareness of the global effort to tackle climate change. Central to the conversation is the global view of sustainable development.  International sustainable development organisation, Stakeholder Forum, will lead the conversation about outcomes from Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (attended by the Minister and Commissioner for Sustainable Futures in June 2012) and the global sustainable development goals and regulations.

Environment Minister, John Griffiths said:

"I am very pleased to be able to discuss Wales' ground breaking proposals for Sustainable Development legislation with a respected campaigner such as Jonathon.

"As a Government we are committed to putting sustainable development at the heart of everything we do. In practice this means making decisions that are based on what is best for the long term future of Wales rather than short term fixes. Our proposals for an SD Bill are all about using legislation to strengthen our commitment to a sustainable Wales. We believe this will set a clear direction for helping us build a Wales, and a public sector to promote economic, social and environmental wellbeing and enhance people's quality of life in Wales both now and in the future."

“It is testament to the profile of work around sustainability in Wales,” added David Fitzpatrick, CEO of Cynnal Cymru, “that we can now attract speakers of international standing to help increase our understanding of the issues and ensure we learn from best practice elsewhere.”

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Notes for Editors

Jonathon Porritt CBE

Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for his services to environmental protection.

He held the position of top sustainable adviser to UK Government in his position as the first chair of the Sustainable Development Commission (2000-2009).

Jonathon is an Ambassador of WWF UK, Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy and a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water and of Willmott Dixon Holdings.

He was formerly co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83); Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90);chairman of UNED-UK (1993-96); and a Trustee of WWF UK (1991-2005). In 2006 Jonathon established Forum for the Future and has been involved in the work of many NGOs and charities.

Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Bill
Moving towards a sustainable future for the people of Wales is a key aim of Welsh Government.

One Wales: One Planet sets out Welsh Governments commitment and approach to placing sustainable development at the centre of everything it does.

The introduction of a Sustainable Development Bill will strengthen this approach by placing a legal requirement on organisations delivering public services within Wales to place sustainable development principles at the heart of their thinking. This means that all public bodies will:

  • take a long term approach;
  • work better together; and
  • use evidence when making decisions so that they provide the best value for the people they serve now and in the future.

The proposal also includes plans to set up a statutory body to provide sustainable development advice and guidance.

A consultation document setting out the proposals for a Sustainable Development Bill was launched on the 9 May and closed on 18 July 2012. The views sought during the consultation process will be used to help inform the Sustainable Development White Paper which is due to be launched in autumn 2012.

A summary of the responses from the first consultation will be published by Welsh Government shortly.

Cynnal Cymru

Cynnal Cymru provides support and information to increase action for sustainable development and climate change.

It is a not-for-profit network organisation that represents the private, public and third sectors across Wales and provides policy advice and support to Commissioner for Sustainable Futures and the Climate Change Commission Wales.

In April 2012, Cynnal Cymru was awarded the Sustainable Future for Wales contract - a three year contract to deliver and support the Welsh Government 

Website: www.cynnalcymru.com