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WWF Cymru convened the Sustainable Development Alliance – a coalition of a number of organisations in Wales – to make the case for a sustainable development law for Wales.

We worked together with lawyers to pull together a proposal for what we thought that law should do and how it should look, and then we set about trying to make it happen.

Our work culminated in the passing of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 into law. This was hailed as the first law of its kind in the world.

The law makes sustainable development the ‘central organising principle of the public sector in Wales’. That means that when public officials make decisions, they have to consider their effects on, and the needs of, the generations that will come after ours.

The Act also established the office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. The first such Commissioner, Sophie Howe, took office earlier this year, and her job is to be a champion for future generations, and to help the public sector do all it can to promote sustainable development.

This law gives Wales an incredible opportunity to lead the world. That’s why we’re working hard with politicians and our colleagues in the Sustainable Development Alliance to make sure that the Act gets properly implemented by the Welsh Government.

We want to see truly transformational change in the way that government thinks and acts – a move away from short-termism to making decisions in a joined-up, strategic way that really does consider the needs of the Wales and the world of the future.

Ahead of the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election, we set out some key tests for the new Government’s implementation of the Act, which include action on

  • warm homes for everyone;
  • healthy and productive seas; and
  • a sustainable economy.

 

For more information about WWF Cymru’s work on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, please contact Head of WWF Cymru and Chair of the Sustainable Development Alliance Anne Meikle at ameikle@wwf.org.uk.

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