When the National Assembly for Wales was established in 1999, Wales became one of the few countries in the world with a legal duty relating to sustainable development.
This is often described as: 'Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.'
In recent years, Welsh Governments have been working to put sustainable development at the heart of decision making.
We hope that this will put Wales at the forefront of helping people and nature thrive, setting an example to other countries.
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
In 2015, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill 2015 became an Act of the Assembly, meaning that it is Welsh Law.
The Act presents an amazing opportunity. It enshrines in law the principle that we should "act in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
We believe that the Well-being of Future Generations Act is a radical and ground-breaking piece of legislation, which we hope will encourage other countries to focus on sustainable development.
The Act sets out a number of goals. The three of most significance for us are:
- A prosperous Wales: An innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment, and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change)
- A resilient Wales: A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example to climate change)
- A globally responsible Wales: A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a things may make a positive contribution to global well-being
What WWF is doing
WWF Cymru has helped establish a community of more than 20 Welsh charities, social enterprises and community groups whose work supports people and nature to thrive.
We all work on different issues, but we’re speaking with one voice about why we think the Well-being of Future Generations is so important and how it can help future generations.
Our community is called The Sustainable Development Alliance. If you’d like to find out more about who’s part of it and how you can get involved, visit www.shapingfuturewales.org, where you can also read more about the Well-being of Future generations Bill.