top of page
  • Writer's pictureMair

'Why a Healthy Planet Needs A Healthy Wales' : Global Solidarity Summit Webinar Review

Updated: May 19, 2021

Recently, I joined an informative webinar as part of the Global Solidarity Summit 2021. Hub Africa Cymru invited me along and it was great to hear from leaders who shared their thoughts on how Wales can be a leading example for sustainability in the future.

One of the speakers was Jane Davidson, the former Welsh Government Minister, activist and author of “#futuregen". We were also joined by David Pencheon, OBE, founder Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (England) and Honorary Professor at Exeter University.

The call raised some very interesting points, some of which hadn't crossed my mind before, but I left with a notebook full of notes and full of inspiration!

Here are my five learning points from the call to share with you:

1. 'By doing something differently, you can create a new sense of hope'. In order to grow we need to do things differently, which can then inspire others to take the same path. So, why don't we start to build how we want to live now, so it's in place for the future? What do you think that means in terms of transport? Housing? Energy?

2. Wales may be small, but we are powerful. Voices from all levels need to be heard when finding solutions, and the government should harness these ideas which arise. So, let's all suggest some greener alternatives and get these plans into action. After all, Wales is the first fair trade nation in the world...

3. Society needs to have love and respect for the natural world, as well as each other. Wales is rich in natural wealth. In order to satisfy our basic needs of safety and security (the speakers referred back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs), we need to have access to life sources such as clean air and clean water. Wales has all of these things in abundance, and they will all be a valuable resource in the future. How are we going to protect these and minimize pollution levels? Not only for a sustaining life, but adding to our psychological well being too?

4. Is spending time in the outdoors more important to you now? The pandemic has altered our beliefs on priorities in our life, and what we think we need. Perhaps, it's not longer material goods. A speaker gave a good example of traveling on a plane to a board meeting... is that now really necessary? We all now want to connect with nature more than we have done before, spend time with loved ones, and look after our well being. Let's swap the planes for sunsets on the beach and explore where we can.

5. Communication is so important when you need to make a change. I loved this point from one of the speakers. In a wide, diverse social landscape, messaging can be hard, especially when beliefs and values vary. So whatever we do, it would be a perfect message if, not only is it clear, but makes sense to everyone - even with varying opinions to our own. I think this resonated with me as I have a marketing and PR background - but this is unfortunately rare to achieve, but it can be done!

6. Other countries need to be ready for change, so when it does happen they are good to go! Prepare now for the future, invest in sustainability. There are countries out there that are already doing what others dream of - it just takes action to make it happen.

Oh, and one extra point ... is GDP out of date as a metric? Is enrichment a better measure of a country's 'wealth'?

So, with plenty of food for thought, let's all make small changes in our daily lives that will have a positive impact on our environment - now, and in the future.


bottom of page