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Welsh Assembly Government's Sustainable Development Action Plan 2004 - 2007

20 December 2004

The Sustainable Development Commission welcomes the Welsh Assembly Government's Sustainable Development Action Plan 2004 - 2007. It applauds the First Minister's emphasis on sustainable development as 'the only way forward',
and the Action Plan's focus on leadership and implementation.

Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the SDC says, 'The Welsh Assembly is unique in the clarity of its vision and commitment to embed SD at the heart of everything it does. The range of Action Plan commitments reflect the need for Wales to act
both internally and to play its part in influencing UK and world issues. It represents an exciting opportunity to build on the progress already made in
Wales, and to focus on making real and lasting changes. We look forward to continuing to work with the Assembly to help them translate the Plan into
concrete action'.

In particular the SDC welcomed:

- The Assembly's refreshingly 'can do' approach to sustainable development;

- The way the Plan has been developed with stakeholders across Welsh society;

- The Assembly's clarity that achieving a sustainable Wales can ultimately only be achieved through strengthened partnerships with all sectors;

- The Assembly's understanding that sustainable development is the overarching strategic issue and that all other strategies, policies and
programmes must contribute to the goal of a sustainable Wales.

Whilst such plans can look beguilingly simple on paper, implementation can be far
from easy. In this respect The SDC is heartened by the Foreword to the Plan from, Carwyn Jones, Minister for the Environment, Countryside & Planning, where heacknowledges that the Assembly has learned from the weaknesses identified in
it's initial sustainable development scheme and emphasises that the focus of this Plan is clearly on leadership, mainstreaming and delivery.

Rod Aspinwall, SDC Vice Chair (Wales) welcomes the plan, saying: 'As the UK Government is currently developing its new Sustainable Development Strategy, it is timely to note that the Welsh Assembly's Action Plan shows how tremendously beneficial it is to embed a legal duty for sustainable development in public sector organisations. When such a duty meets with political commitment, as we have in Wales, the door is open for very significant progress. However, successful implementation will depend to a considerable extent on whether the Assembly is able to put both new and existing mainstream resources behind its commitments. I commend the Assembly for the Plan and together with my Sustainable Development Commission colleagues, look forward to continuing to working together on this important agenda'.

20 December 2004

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