Wales and its young lead on sustainable development

Wales is one of only three governments who have a legal duty to sustainable development - the other two being Estonia and Tasmania. Sustainable development is built into its constitution through the Government of Wales Act. The country is calling on World Summit delegates to work together to put sustainable development into effect.

“Let’s work together to reduce our impact on the globe,” says Wales’ First Minister Rhodri Morgan as he prepares for the Summit. The First Minister will be joined in Johannesburg by the WWF Wales Earth Champion Rhys Davies. The 17 year old won a competition organised by BBC TV’s Newsround, and will be travelling to the summit to raise young people’s concerns on sustainable development.

Joining them will be three other Welsh students who have received awards and will be attending the Children’s Earth Summit. A separate delegation of 13 to 18 year olds hope to take the world leaders out to lunch in an effort to raise awareness about food miles (see related story).

A Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed in the Welsh Assembly is working to ensure that Wales meets its Action Plan on sustainable development. A Forum will also be set up to foster wider involvement by citizens. And the Welsh Development Agency is working with small businesses to help them devise sustainable strategies. Other initiatives include the SPARK project on sustainable transport in Pembrokeshire and the Tir Gofal scheme for farmers to encourage biodiversity.

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