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‘Sustainability and the Welsh Language’ Conference, Bangor University

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A very successful conference was held at Bangor University on Friday 22nd February on ‘Sustainability and the Welsh Language’ with over 70 in attendance. It was organized jointly between Dyfodol i’r Iaith and WISE Network at Bangor University.

the welfare and development of the Welsh language should be central to the definition of Sustainable Development in Wales

The conference was able to draw an audience from all over Wales and a number of different organizations together. The delegates included those with expertise and interest in the fields of sustainability, environment and the Welsh language.

The aim of the conference was to dispel the myth that environmental considerations are the only part of sustainability, highlight the complex interrelationship between people, the planet and the economy if we are to be a sustainable nation, and reveal that there is a clear and conclusive link between the Welsh language and sustainability in Wales.

By the end of the day it was clear that the forces that work against the environment are very similar to those leading to apathy towards the Welsh language and that there is a place for those who want to see the Welsh language thrive to learn from the experiences of environmental campaigners in actually influencing policy, in particular by ensuring that the Welsh language is seen as an important element of sustainability.

There was a heated discussion following each of the presentations by speakers who specialize in specific areas and provided an opportunity to gather ideas about the possible links between the sustainability agenda and efforts to ensure the future of the Welsh language.

Two important decisions were made by the end of the day:

  1. That so many individuals and organizations as possible should take the opportunity to influence the legislative program of the Welsh Government by responding, in the first instance, to the consultation on the Sustainable Development Bill and the Planning Bill, emphasizing the need for the Welsh language to be a central part in them. (End of consultancy on the Sustainable Development Bill White Paper – 04/03/12)
  2. Formed a statement to be sent to the Welsh Government as follows: “The interests of the Welsh language are part of Sustainable Development according to Welsh Government policies and plans at the moment. The conference on Sustainability and the Welsh language held by Dyfodol in Bangor, on Friday 22th February 2013 confirms the view that the welfare and development of the Welsh language should be central to the definition of Sustainable Development in Wales. We therefore call on the Welsh Government to ensure that the welfare and development of the Welsh language is included in one of the basic elements on the front sheet of the proposed Sustainable Development Bill and the Planning Bill in due course. “

Dyfodol i’r Iaith is a voluntary organisation open to anybody who loves the Welsh language. Its aim is to exert influence through constitutional means on the substance and content of public policies and legislation in order to promote and nurture the growth of the Welsh language. It will campaign for Wales and its people, winning support and respect for the language and ensuring that the Welsh language remains a live issue on the political agenda.

For more information:

Mair Rowlands
+44 (0)1248 382852