Conference on equity for future generations

Sustainable Future Conference

The past few months have been a busy time in the Office, with staff writing the 2015 State of the Environment report along with our other everyday activities. Back in April I was fortunate to be invited to speak at the Essential Ingredients for a Sustainable Future Conference in Cardiff, Wales. The two day conference brought together delegates from agencies from the UK, EU and elsewhere, who share the desire to safeguard the needs of future generations and in doing so create a sustainable future.

The conference coincided with the passing of the Welsh Well-being of Future Generations Act, legislation  which aims to ensure that present needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The focus was on the capacity and role of independent offices, as agencies less constrained by short political cycles, for taking a long-term view and action for creating a sustainable future.

Participating in a high level roundtable was a particularly useful part of the meeting. My Office is now a member of the network initiated by the roundtable, which will exchange ideas and offer support to member organisations, with the goal of linking environmental and sustainability policy from the UN to regional and sub-national levels.

One of the most evident and encouraging insights I gained from the conference was the importance of local action – by cities and states – in achieving change. The others were the shift towards a focus on future generations as a way of progressing ecologically sustainable development and the value of well-resourced and effective independent offices in creating a sustainable future.

A summary of the discussions from the conference is available on the World Futures website at