Wales made headlines in 2015 when it announced its pioneering Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, a set of seven well-being goals that aims to make Wales a better and more sustainable nation for those living here today, and those yet to be born. The concept was lauded around the world, with the UN stating, ‘What Wales does today, the world will do tomorrow.’

However, Derek Walker, whose role as Future Generations Commissioner is to ensure Wales hits the goals set out in the act, believes the country could be doing more to reach these targets faster – or, to use Derek’s words, “to close the gap between aspiration and delivery”.

To achieve this, the Future Generations Commissioner, who stepped into the role in March 2023, has launched a new strategy, entitled Cymru Can. The new strategy aims to up the scale and quicken the pace at which the principles of the Future Generations Act are implemented across government bodies in Wales.

Taking place across a seven-year period, from now until 2030, the new campaign will focus on five main areas, ensuring the legislation is: working harder and having an impact in people’s everyday lives; responding to the climate and nature emergencies; doing more to prevent ill health; working to establish a well-being economy; and protecting and enhancing culture and the Welsh language. 

A new video has been launched to accompany the announcement of the campaign, which sees people from across Wales asking a series of key questions, such as ‘why can’t we stand up for the people and wildlife that live on our planet?’ and ‘why can’t we ensure young people can stay in their communities?’, with the answer to each question the same each time – Cymru Can. 

Derek also appears in the video, on location at Câr-y-Môr, Wales’ first community-owned, regenerative seaweed and shellfish farm, in Pembrokeshire. The company is one example of how the Future Generations Act is having a tangible impact in Wales, where it was cited in a request to alter the company’s short-term fishing license for one spanning 20 years. This allowed the company to create secure, permanent jobs and implement sustainable practices that require long-term thinking.

Other examples of the act directly affecting policy in Wales include the creation of a new, progressive school curriculum and informing the creation of a new, greener public transport plan.

Speaking about the new campaign, Derek Walker said, ‘People are proud of the Well-being of Future Generations Act and our well-being goals – but we must push harder to ensure they’re better implemented to make more positive change in people’s daily lives, now and in the future.’

‘We need urgent and transformational change, with joined-up and long-term solutions to problems like the climate and nature emergencies, inequality and poverty and it’s not happening at the pace and scale we need it to – it’s my job to work with others to find better ways to support that change,’ he added.

Learn more about Derek’s work as Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner.

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