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phone: 01654 703965
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press release21-05-2014

From Aberystwyth to the world with the Dyfi Biosphere

The guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Dyfi Biosphere generated lively debate about the future for Wales and how local communities can work with Welsh Government.

The event, held at Aberystwyth University on May 15th, was attended by about 50 individuals and representatives of societies, businesses and public bodies.

In introducing the Dyfi Biosphere’s annual report, Ceredigion County Council Deputy Leader Councillor Ray Quant said he was pleased to see many Aberystwyth faces present, including academics from several departments. He reported that plenty of research-related activity is underway or is about to start, and that tourism continues to be a main focus of activity, with the area supported by Welsh Government as one of Wales' branded 'destinations'.

The Chair of the Dyfi Biosphere Partnership, Iolo ap Gwynn, drew attention to the Dyfi Biosphere’s growing international links, including those with African communities. He paid tribute to ecodyfi for leading the writing of the Partnership’s coordination plan, which draws together a broad range of activities with the minimum of bureaucracy.

Guest speaker Peter Davies, the Wales Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, urged those present to take part in the national conversation about desirable futures, called ‘The Wales we Want’, through the web site www.thewaleswewant.org.uk. He promised to urge the Welsh Government to explore how it can support the Dyfi Biosphere more fully. “I’m sure Wales as a whole can learn from the Dyfi Biosphere’s work in testing innovative approaches to maintaining livelihoods, culture and economies based on a healthy environment”, he said.

Mr Davies has been invited to address a United Nations gathering that will define targets or ‘Goals’ for addressing poverty, well-being and environmental health at a world level. Biosphere Reserves connect their local work to the same agenda, through UNESCO.

Dr ap Gwynn closed the meeting by thanking Powys County Council and others for their support during the past year and by referring people to the proposals in the Dyfi Biosphere Coordination Plan. “Educational work by partners is important in laying foundations for the future, and relates to the “E” in UNESCO.” he said. “All of our activities should contribute to the sustainability of Wales and the world, but most importantly they aim to improve well-being locally”.

Press enquiries: Robin Farrar or Andy Rowland; 01654 703965

Notes to editors:

  • A Biosphere Reserve is an area in which people work to balance the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. They are nominated by member state governments and must fulfil three basic functions:
  • A conservation function - to preserve genetic resources, species, ecosystems and landscapes
  • A development function - to foster sustainable economic and human development
  • A logistic function - to support research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global issues of conservation and development
  • http://www.biosfferdyfi.org.uk/report
  • http://thewaleswewant.org.uk/