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Wales makes further commitments to sustainable development

The nrg4SD (Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development) general assembly took place in Quebec at the end of August. John Griffiths, Environment and Sustainable Development Minister for the Welsh Government, took part and signed the Declaration of Quebec (pdf), confirming Wales’s commitment to achieving and encouraging sustainable development at a sub-national level.

The network brings together representatives of regional governments around the world to promote the role of sub-national and regional governments in helping to ensure the world adopts a more sustainable way of living. Altogether nrg4SD represents around 600 territories in the World.

Wales has always been a progressive nation in terms of sustainable development. Nationally, through One Wales: One Planet and, more recently, through making sustainable development the central organising principle of the organisation – something the government is keen to encourage other Welsh businesses to do – through the Sustainable Development Charter.

Sustainable Development Charter

The Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Charter was launched in May 2010. Its purpose is to enable Welsh organisations to make sustainable development their central organising principle.

By signing the Charter the Welsh Government is asking organisations to set out examples of best practice on sustainable development and share details with other organisations.

At the time of the launch a small group of just over 20 Welsh organisations joined in agreeing to follow the lead of Government and now – just over a year later – more than 100 organisations are working together on sustainable development. Those that have signed up come in all shapes and sizes and hail from a variety of sectors. They include major multinationals, key public sector organisations and high profile voluntary groups.

The Welsh Government’s ambition is to establish a working, active community of practice on sustainable development across all sectors that can act together to solve problems and, over time, see the Charter network being used to drive progress on sustainable development and inspiring action.

More information on the Sustainable Development Charter can be found here.

International Sustainable Development

Internationally, the Welsh Government continues to deliver inspiring programmes. The Wales for Africa programme has become a beacon for Welsh efforts to help deliver the UN Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015. One element of their work includes the Wales-Mbale Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC) project, a partnership initiative between the Welsh Government, the Mbale region of Uganda and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Wales–Mbale Territorial Approach to Climate Change

The aim of the TACC programme is to assist 50 developing country regions to develop their own climate change action plans and access international funds to deliver them. The TACC is seen as an innovative approach to assisting the delivery of the adaptation and mitigation actions in developing countries, which are important UN goals.

In 2010, in partnership with the UNDP, the Welsh Government launched the $1 million TACC project in Mbale, Uganda.

The project means that a climate change action plan for Mbale will be produced using UN expertise and satellite data, ground proofing, meteorological data, as well as support from environment and climate change professionals in Wales. This plan will detail the vulnerabilities of the region to climate change and will be used as the basis for applications for international carbon financing funds.

As part of the project, three members of staff from Environment Agency Wales have completed 8 week assignments in Mbale under the Wales for Africa International Learning Opportunities scheme. They worked with the District Council to build the partnership, develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and begin the work of mapping water resources in the area.

Developments of the programme will be available through the Welsh Government website as the project progresses.

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