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26 May 2017

Wales must play a global role on sustainability, says new WWF Chief Executive

Wales has a key role to play in how the world addresses the big challenges facing our children and grandchildren, according to the new Chief Executive of WWF-UK.

Tanya Steele has met with Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, to discuss the country’s unique approach to sustainability and how it fits into the global picture.

In 2015, the Welsh Assembly passed a groundbreaking law, placing a duty on public bodies to take the needs of future generations into account.

The Well-being of Future Generations Act, which also set up the role of Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, followed campaigning by WWF and other organisations to ensure it would be strong and effective.

The law will be a key driver of the changes needed in Wales to meet the United Nations’ ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, designed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF-UK said:

“It was really interesting to hear more about the work of Wales’ Commissioner and the country’s approach to sustainable development.

“People and wildlife are under huge pressure globally. Issues such as climate change, the extinction of species and providing access to food and water are closely linked. These are difficult issues for the world – but Wales is demonstrating ways we can tackle them.

“It’s vital that that the Welsh experience is shared globally and I look forward to working with Sophie Howe and others to help Wales succeed as a sustainable nation.”

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner said:

"We have committed to transforming the way we think, the way we work and way we live with our unique vision of social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being.

The Wales approach is ambitious and by learning and sharing with others, we have a real opportunity to make a real difference to people and the planet.  Our new legislation seeks to ensure the decisions we take in Wales recognise the positive impact that a resilient environment which promotes and protects biodiversity and natural resources has on the health and wellbeing of people as well as our economic prosperity. 

We hope that it will provide a framework for others countries around the world to follow."

For further information, please contact:
Richard Nosworthy, Communications Manager, WWF Cymru - tel: 029 20454972 / 07920 211534 , email: rnosworthy@wwf.org.uk