In 2016, Wales led the way with the new Well-being of Future Generations (WFG) Act, a transformational piece of legislation, putting Wales in the spotlight as the first nation to enshrine sustainable development in law.

The Act defines seven Well-being Goals for Wales and promotes principles for ways of working which embeds the sustainable development approach. It places a statutory duty on the public sector to consider these goals in decision-making and demonstrate their commitment to the principles.

Keep Wales Tidy wants to mark the first anniversary of the WFG Act by highlighting the opportunities this new legislation brings to Wales and celebrate how our work at a local, national and international level supports its principles.

Keep Wales Tidy takes action to make a positive difference to the environment, putting people at the heart of everything we do. We deliver practical action, environmental education, training, business services and environmental solutions across Wales. We help set high standards for parks, beaches, marinas and tourism in Wales through our range of internationally-accredited awards.

Our national programmes are delivered from each community and are linked to the public bodies that are required to deliver against the WFG Act.

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy, explains the value of the new ground-breaking, sustainability legislation:

The WFG Act has established a vision for our future which we share with our partners in local authorities, businesses, communities, schools and other not for profit organisations, and supports the discussions around shared priorities.

Only by working together to drive change will we be able to prioritise well-being for individuals, communities, Wales and the world. We have been given an excellent opportunity to showcase what Wales is doing and share learning with our international partners.

Lesley Jones was recently appointed President of the global Foundation for Environmental Education, becoming the first female and first President from Wales. Lesley is pleased to be able to link this work to a home-grown legislation and directly support the work that will be evidenced under the WFG Act.

Under the Foundation for Environmental Education, Keep Wales Tidy delivers the Eco-Schools, Blue Flag and Green Key programmes in Wales. Through these programmes, we share our experience, learning, and achievements with our global partners who support our commitment to creating better places for our future generations.

The seven Well-being Goals within the WFG Act are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Wales has been recognised for its pioneering approach. Nikhil Seth as Director for Sustainable Development at the United Nations said: 

The Wales Future Generations Act captures the spirit and essence of two decades of United Nations work in the area of sustainable development and serves as a model for other regions and countries.  We hope that what Wales is doing today the world will do tomorrow. Action, more than words, is the hope for our current and future generations.

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs echoes the brave steps Wales has taken in the area of sustainable development:

The anniversary of the Well-being of Future Generations Act is an opportunity to highlight the progress made in the past year. Wales continues to lead the way with sustainability legislation recognised by the UN as “a model for other regions and countries. According to a recent report we are also the third best recycling nation in the world. Steps like these can contribute not only to the environmental well-being of Wales, but also to our social, economic, and cultural well-being too. It’s also positive to have pioneers like Lesley Jones advancing our position on a global platform with her recent appointment as President of the global Foundation for Environmental Education.

We have good foundations on which we will continue to build a better and more sustainable Wales.

With global UN Sustainable Development Goals supported by the seven Well-being Goals of Wales, there has never been a better time to learn and implement sustainable practices in a world that needs fast, bold action to protect our natural resources. Let’s celebrate this new legislation on its first anniversary as an opportunity to shape the way we live, learn and work today to ensure we can all have a better tomorrow.

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