Memorandum submitted by the Cwm Harry
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 Walesits 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 othersnowhere 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
13 September 2000