CIEEM Patron Jane Davidson has this month published her new book #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country.
The book reveals what governments, policy-makers and activists around the world can learn from the creation and implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and the strong vision put forward by a small, ground-breaking nation. Wales, one of the first industrialised countries based on coal, iron and steel industries, has had to envision a new future. The Act has helped Wales discover opportunities in its vast natural beauty, harnessing its renewable energy resources and its strong communities – showing the many opportunities for a bright and prosperous future for generations to come.
The Act places sustainability at the heart of government, and requires long-term, collaborative systemic solutions to complex issues including poverty, health, ecology, environment and meaningful employment in the interests of current and future generations. In response to the many lines of interest that her work has aroused, this book is written as both a memoir, and a handbook for change.
In the UK, Lord John Bird and Caroline Lucas MP are leading a Well-being of Future Generations Bill through Parliament, and governments in New Zealand, Iceland, Finland, Canada and Gibraltar are looking at the Welsh experiment with interest. The story of how the Act came into being is an important case study showing how sustainability can be at the heart of present-day policy. Now, more than ever, we need powerful examples such as #futuregen, that will guide campaigners, local elected members, national politicians and civic leaders as a way forward in the fight for a sustainable future.
Jane Davidson is Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales which has embedded the Wellbeing of Future Generations’ Act into all its activities. Jane has won a number of UK-wide awards for this work. From 2007- 2011, Jane was Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainable development its central organising principle – the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act which came into law in April 2015. She created a Welsh Climate Change Commission and Future Generations Commissioner, the 800 mile Wales coastal path, legislated on waste which has seen Wales become one of the top recycling countries in the world. She introduced the first UK charge on carrier bags, leading the way for similar charges across the UK. Jane is a patron of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and Tools for Self Reliance Wales (TFSR Cymru). She holds honorary fellowships from WWF, CIW (Chartered Institute of Waste), CIWEM (Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management). She is Chair of the RSA in Wales and an associate faculty member at Harvard University. She lives on a 10 acre smallholding in west Wales where she tries to live a low carbon life, growing organically as much food as possible. Find out more about Jane on her website.