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Re-appointment of Jonathon Porritt as Chair to the Sustainable Development Commission

18 July 2006

The UK Government and Devolved Administrations announced today that Jonathon Porritt has been re-appointed as Chair to the Sustainable Development Commission. He will lead the Commission for a further three year period commencing on 27th July 2006.

Jonathon was initially appointed by the Prime Minister as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in July 2000, and then re-appointed for a further term ending on 26 th July 2006.

David Miliband, Secretary of State for Environment, said:

"Jonathon's strong leadership of the Sustainable Development Commission is respected at all levels of Government and beyond. The Commission continues to play a very important role in its capacity as the government's advisor, advocate, and watchdog reporting on progress on sustainable development. Jonathon's vision and drive remain essential to help all levels of Government, business and communities across the UK achieve sustainability."

Notes to editors

The Sustainable Development Commission (www.sd-commission.gov.uk) was launched by the Prime Minister in October 2000, subsuming the UK Round Table on Sustainable Development and the British Government Panel on Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Commission is the Government's independent watchdog on sustainable development, reporting to the Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales.

The Sustainable Development Commission's role is to promote sustainable development across the UK and all sectors of society, particularly within government and build consensus on the actions needed if further progress is to be achieved. Specifically the SDC's role covers:

• identifying key unsustainable trends which will not be reversed on the basis of current or planned action, and recommending action to reverse the trends;
• acting as a critical friend to government advising on its progress in delivering sustainable development;
• acting as a watchdog of government, appraising the effectiveness of the delivery of sustainable development;
• establishing good working relationships with key parts of government in promoting sustainable development;
• deepening awareness of the concept of sustainable development within key sectors, increasing awareness of the issues it raises, and •building agreement on how to address them;
encouraging, stimulating and sharing good practice between all the UK administrations.

Biographical Notes:

Jonathon Porritt, is a writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. He was appointed by the Prime Minister as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in July 2000. He is co-founder of Forum for the Future, the UK's leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world's leading companies.

He has been a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency since December 1999, and is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Programme which runs Senior Executives' Seminars in Cambridge, Salzburg, South Africa and the USA. In 2005 he became a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, and a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. He is also Vice-President of the Socialist Environment Resources Association (SERA).

He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member; chairman of UNED-UK (1993-96); chairman of Sustainability South West, the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development (1999-2001); a Trustee of WWF UK (1991-2005).

Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.

Political Activity:

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activities (if any) to be made public.

Jonathon Porritt has not declared any current political activity although he remains a member of the Green Party , and does not hold other ministerial appointments.

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