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MINISTER WELCOMES NEXT STEP IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SCHEME

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Specific measures being put in place now will help the assembly to take forward its unique obligation to a sustaina...
Specific measures being put in place now will help the assembly to take forward its unique obligation to a sustainable development scheme, said minister for environment Sue Essex yesterday.
When the assembly voted unanimously to adopt its sustainable development scheme on 16 November, the minister agreed that specific work would be undertaken by the next debate.
The assembly today accepted the work done on those measures, which includes a draft action plan designed to identify high-level actions to be taken by the assembly to implement the scheme, and a set of indicators against which the its progress may be measured.
Ms Essex said: 'It is vitally important that worthwhile and visionary policies like the assembly's sustainable development scheme are supported by a practical set of meaningful measures. The draft action plan that has been agreed today will help to ensure that the assembly meets its unique commitment to sustainable development.
'Our plans in this area are still evolving and we will be adding, in particular, to the set of indicators which will be used to measure the scheme's performance. These include some relatively straightforward measures like the level of emissions of greenhouse gases and the proportion of people of working age in work.
'However they also include a proposal to consider more complicated measures like Wales' global ecological footprint, which, put simply, is the mark Wales leaves on the world in terms of the resources we use.
'We are also looking to use the scheme to apply for a European Regional Innovation Grant. We've gone out to consultation on this and have invited outline bids which could form the basis of an application.
'Importantly, we are also staging on Monday, through the Wales European Centre, a seminar which will showcase to the rest of Europe what we are doing to fulfil our unique obligation in this area. I am very much looking forward to addressing this seminar and showing the rest of Europe our exciting work in taking this scheme forward.'
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