Tuesday, July 15 - Sustainability South West celebrates a decade of charity work

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:18 10 June 2010

THE independent charity Sustainability South West (SSW) celebrated 10 years of work at its annual sustainability summit.

THE independent charity Sustainability South West (SSW) celebrated 10 years of work at its annual sustainability summit.

As part of the celebrations it recognised the work of young filmmakers concerned for the future of our planet, and presented some 'Sustainability Oscars'.

The summit re-emphasised the urgent need for everyone to live in ways that will improve and sustain the quality of our lives and that of future generations.

SSW members, staff and president, Jonathon Porritt, attended their annual summit at Dillington House, Somerset, where they hosted an awards ceremony for young animators - with the overall winner being 'Planets: Doctors by Jeremy DeCoursey.

This 90-second animation portrays the earth going to the doctors with a bad case of global warming, with potential dire consequences if humans don't come to their senses and change their behaviour in time to restore planet health.

The summit also celebrated action being taken by individuals and organisations in the region.

Sustainability awards were received by Dr Gabriel Scally, regional director of public health for the South West, for his work in the health sector; Nigel Costley, regional secretary South West TUC, for work with trade unions; Simon Graham, environmental strategy adviser, for sustainability initiatives, Commercial Ltd and to Jane Henderson, chief executive of the SW Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) in recognition of SWRDA's work on a low carbon economy and encouragement for the adoption of the full set of sustainability principles in development work.

Taking the opportunity to look back over the past 10 years at the summit, SSW's president, and top government adviser on sustainability, Jonathon Porritt, told the charity that it had established a national reputation for its work, and paid tribute to all those 'countless' individuals and organisations who have contributed over the years.

The summit recognised that SSW's sustainability principles, network of supporters and partnership work across the region had helped the South West to be more resilient to changes ahead, but that the challenges we face now are even greater than a decade ago.

Following the summit SSW will now be looking at how best to use its decade of experience to champion faster progress on sustainability.

The charity strongly welcomed news that public health resources have been identified to fund a new SSW post to focus on sustainability and health in the region.

An immediate job over the coming months will be to complete an appraisal of proposals for tidal power in the Severn Estuary against sustainability principles.

"We all need to see ourselves as leaders in this challenge - at home, at work and in our communities," urged Leslie Watson, SSW's director "We all share the same home, our one and only planet and the choice to move to a safer, healthier future is in each of our hands."

SSW's chairman Julian Dennis said: "If we are going to help ourselves and future generations to be resilient to the changes ahead we must increase everyone's understanding about why and how to act sustainably.

"SSW as the regions independent champion body is looking forward to playing its part.

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