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About this topic

Sustainable development is about getting on the right long-term path to develop Wales. We want to maximise wellbeing and quality of life now and for future generations, whilst living within environmental limits. We are one of only a few governments to have a legal duty to sustainable development.

We have made sustainable development our central organising principle. This means we put it at the heart of everything we do and the decisions we make. All our decisions:

  • promote long–term wellbeing of people and communities;
  • integrate economic, social and environmental issues; and 
  • involve the people who will be affected.

We want to move towards becoming a sustainable nation by:

  • Improving the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of people and communities. The aim is to achieve a better quality of life for us and future generations;
  • Promoting fair, safe and sustainable communities, social justice and equal opportunities for all; and
  • Supporting the management of our natural and cultural environment, using our fair share of resources, and sustaining our cultural legacy.

We will measure how we’re doing through our Headline Indicators which show our progress.

The indicators are:

  • Sustainable resource use – which we will measure using Wales’ Ecological Footprint; 
  • Sustaining the environment – the percentage of our rarest species and habitats that are stable or increasing; 
  • A sustainable economy - Gross Value Added (GVA) and GVA per head; 
  • A sustainable society - percentage of the population in low-income households; and 
  • Wellbeing - measuring people’s overall life satisfaction and reflecting their physical and mental health and their overall satisfaction with their quality of life.  

We publish a report each year to show the progress that we’ve made.