Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Cwm Harry Land Trust

  We are a small community sector organisation operating in mid-Wales. Over the past two years we have established a community composting scheme, currently diverting from landfill approximately 120 tonnes of green domestic waste a year. This effort is helping the government meet its recycling targets as set out in the Directive 99/31 EC. We are currently in the process of setting up a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, utilising our compost.

  We have established relations with small organisations in rural India, working on similar sustainable projects. In dealing with these organisations, including visiting them earlier this year (as a result of winning The Millennium Commission's Natural Pioneers Award) we found that they were almost completely ignorant about Wales—its location, people and culture. (To be fair, our dealings with Europeans have also shown that there is confusion about the entities that make up the UK!)

  This raises the question as to what extent, if at all, does the UK Government project Wales, including mid-Wales, in its presentation of British life and society abroad.

  These are exciting times for Wales. We are in the throes of a Welsh renaissance in its public life, civic society and, hopefully, its economy. One of the characteristics of this renaissance is a new found confidence to learn best practices from the experiences of others—nowhere more so than in the search for sustainable approaches to the needs of the environment. In our own work we have been importing ideas and practices which originate from developing countries and which are tools for community regeneration forged in the South. We have found that many of them work, adapted to local conditions here.

  With Government efforts in projecting Wales to the rest of the world, it would be a distinct advantage to acknowledge this openness to international ideas and practices and to portray the Welsh experience in areas such as community regeneration and economic renewal.

Richard Northridge and Bijon Sinha

Joint Co-ordinators

13 September 2000

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