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Commissioner for Sustainable Futures of Wales (UK) and Cynnal Cymru
Information
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Submission Document: Download
  • Additional Document:

Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Zero Draft Submission

This submission is presented by the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures in Wales (United Kingdom) and Cynnal Cymru, an organisation representing networks and sustainability practitioners across Wales that works in support of our Commissioner for Sustainable Futures.

Wales has had a legal duty to sustainable development since its regional government was established in 1999. As a nation, we have promoted sustainable development in all of our work, and our Welsh Government has made sustainable development its central organising principle. We recommend that other nations and regions also commit to making sustainable development their central organising principle, to ensure that sustainable development is at the heart of everything they do.

The next step for Wales is to introduce legislation to make sustainable development the central organising principle for all public bodies in Wales. We are learning from the experiences of countries around the world about how to turn this from a legislative requirement into successful delivery. We expect that this Sustainable Development Bill will become law by 2014.

In Wales we have a Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, Peter Davies, who is appointed to provide leadership for sustainable development in Wales (http://www.cynnalcymru.com/ commissioner). Peter provides independent advice to the Welsh Government on sustainable development, and is able to convene stakeholders from across Wales to drive action on sustainability.

We recommend that all states and regional governments appoint a Commissioner of their own, who at a minimum is able to act as a focal point for action on sustainable development across civil society, and who has the power to convene stakeholders to make sustainable development their central organising principle. This role of catalysing and encouraging action will be important in creating support for sustainable development amongst the populations of member states and regions.

We recommend that the United Nations considers developing a global network of Commissioners for Sustainable Futures, to share good practice and enable action across the globe.

We emphasise that to be successful, Commissioners for Sustainable Futures need to be genuinely independent of their government but able to speak with authority to government, and are able to act across all sectors, to see the whole picture of sustainability.

In Wales, the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures is supported by Cynnal Cymru - a network organisation representing practitioners and stakeholders across Wales with an interest in sustainable development. This model is effective as it enables the advice and recommendations of our members, businesses and society to contribute to the advice and evidence the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures provides to government.

As a membership organisation Cynnal Cymru is the hub for an active community of individuals and organisations delivering sustainable development across Wales. We recommend that Commissioners across the world work in partnership with similar organisations in their own countries to ensure that they develop good relationships with practitioners.

We are keen to share our experiences and the lessons we have learned on sustainability in Wales with other nations.
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