Today (29 April 2015), the Well-being of Future Generations Act becomes law which paves the way for a sustainable future for the people of Wales.
This new law means that, for the first time, many public bodies that provide services to people across Wales must do so in a sustainable way.
The Sustainable Development Alliance, which represents 30 organisations from environment and development charities to community and women’s groups from all parts of Wales, has campaigned for over three years for this legislation.
Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru and Chair of the Sustainable Development Alliance, said:
“The new Well-being of Future Generations Act is a ground-breaking piece of legislation which will influence every aspect of the public sector in Wales, moving us towards being a sustainable nation. On behalf of the Sustainable Development Alliance, I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who worked so tirelessly on this ground-breaking piece of legislation.”
“This is a day to celebrate but the work starts here to implement the law in the best possible way and make sure that it delivers a better future for people and nature in Wales. I’m sure that many people are, like me, looking forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for Wales.”
Haf Elgar, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and spokesperson for the Alliance, added:
“As an Alliance we have worked tirelessly over the past three years to ensure that the Act is clear and strong, and following the process of scrutiny, debate and amending, it truly is. We are delighted and incredibly proud that our campaigning has helped build a law that will shape the future of Wales in such a positive way.”
The Well-being of Future Generations law sets a clear duty on public bodies to carry out sustainable development in everything they do. That means planning for the long term, not just taking short term decisions and working towards long term ‘well-being goals’. These goals will make sure that we live within environmental limits, enhance biodiversity and are globally responsible in our actions.
The law also sets up a Commissioner to act as a guardian for future generations and ties Wales into the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The main provisions of this Act will come into force next year.