Welsh Green Dragon

First ever Welsh Green List
November 24, 2009, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Future Thinking

An exhibition showcasing Wales’ green heroes is currently travelling across the country.

The Welsh Green List celebrates people who are working towards sustainability across the country. It’s the first of its kind, and organisers hope it will inspire others to take action against climate change. 

There are 52 green heroes on the list – one for each week of the year.  And all of them have been judged as a ‘champion’ who deserves recognition for tackling sustainability and climate change.  The idea is to celebrate the work of environmentally-minded people in communities across Wales, and then to inspire and motivate others to follow their example.

The list profiles all sorts of people, including school children, business people, community workers, teachers and musicians.  There are also some well-known names, including the Environment Minister Jane Davidson and Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales.

At the launch event I spoke to organiser Helen Nelson, executive director of Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales, to find out more about this unique award.

The list comes from a nationwide hunt, which started back in the early summer.  People across Wales were asked to think of green champions in their own communities and nominate them to feature in the Green List. The nominations were then short-listed by a panel of representatives from the business, media, voluntary and sustainable development sectors. 

The judging criteria centres on sustainability and people who are ‘building a healthy, happy and fair society’. So the chosen green heroes are not just stereotypical environmentalists.  They are ordinary people, from any background, making a difference to their communities.

Judges told me the idea is to show that green issues aren’t just something you read about in the paper or watch on TV.  They’re about real people, real lives and making Wales a better place.

To help promote the list, Cynnal Cymru has launched a new film and photographic exhibition profiling some of the green champions.  It shows what different people are doing in their quest for sustainability.  

The exhibition will tour across Wales over the next six months. It has now opened at Bridgend. It will then move on to Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda in December and January.

The people on this list are quite extraordinary.  Some have dedicated their whole existence to sustainable living. And, without doubt, the idea behind the list is well considered.  But there continues to be a denial among many people across Wales as to the need to change our lives to be more sustainable. I hope the exhibition will prove very popular and a great success in inspiring people to ‘do their bit’ for the environment.

But the cynic in me worries that even if people visit the exhibition, their admiration and good intentions will quickly turn down the normal road to denial and a reluctance to give up the luxuries and simplicity of their current lives to save the world. 

I hope I’m wrong.
To find out more information on the exhibition and to read profiles of the Welsh Green heroes, visit the Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales website.