“Thinking global and acting locally” is as relevant today as it has ever been. This idea encourages us to consider the state of the whole world, but to take action in our own communities, neighbourhoods and cities. It is part of human nature to protect the environment that we live in – the grassroots efforts of small groups of people can have a huge impact to our immediate community and our wider surroundings.
I recently attended the launch of the Sustain Wales Fund hosted by Cynnal Cymru at Cardiff City Hall where there were some excellent speakers representing local organisations such as the Arts Council for Wales and NSA Afan, as well as global industries such as Coca Cola Enterprises. These organisations have very different activities but the message was clear: the goal of sustainability is vital to every sector, every business and every community.
Sustainable development meets needs of the present without compromising ability of future generations to do the same. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill and Wales Sustainable Development Charter gives validity the principles of sustainability and shows the commitment that the people of Wales have to our future and the future of the planet. However, in order for any sort of change or reform to happen and be meaningful it needs to happen from the ground up, hence the phrase:
Think global, act local.
We all have a stake in the future: it is our legacy and in everyone’s best interests to put sustainability at the heart of services. In times of austerity it makes even more sense to consider sustainability, using our resources sparingly but efficiently; maximising and developing our current potential. Sustainability also delivers palpable benefits to our organisations’ work.
Cynnal Cymru is now looking forward to following up on some of the excellent suggestions from the event and actioning their new initiatives: The Sustain Wales Fund, The Sustain Wales Awards, a new membership scheme and a range of training and events.