Rescue Mission Planet Wales
Shortly after the first global environment summit in 1992, a group of young people gathered together at the UK headquarters of the educational charity Peace Child International. They were funded by the UN to produce a young people's version of Agenda 21, which was entitled 'Rescue Mission Planet Earth'. It was published on International Earth Day in 1994.
This initiative was in recognition that education for sustainability and resilience, starting at the primary level, was going to be essential for future generations to make the necessary behavioural changes to carry forward the strategic management plan, endorsed by the world community, known as Agenda 21.
However, at present, education systems of the West are designed for unlimited global economic expansion and they contribute to unsustainable living. This happens through a lack of opportunity for learners in the classroom to question their own lifestyles and the systems and structures that promote those lifestyles. It also happens through reproducing unsustainable models and practices. The recasting of development, therefore, calls for the reorientation of education towards cross curricular systems thinking . This thinking is summarised in the phrase, 'Prosperity Without Growth'.
In Wales the Rescue Mission booklet stimulated teachers and students in the county of Dyfed to develop a practical scheme for harnessing the National Curriculum to meet the objectives of the Local Agenda 21. The scheme developed as an all-Wales bilingual programme named SCAN (Schools in Communities Agenda 21 Network) as a practical element within an on line educational framework called Cultural Ecoloogy.
The aim of Rescue Mission Planet Wales was to use the basic idea behind Rescue Mission Planet Earth as a model to establish network young people as a force to conserve the resources of Wales.
To mark the Johannesburg 'Rio Plus 10' Environment Summit (2002) a selection of topics from Rescue Mission was produced by students of Cardiff schools as a guide for others to join with SCAN and produce their own mission in Wales with long-term plans for environmental improvements in home and neighbourhood.
The Welsh government set out its aspiration for the people in Wales ‘to live within their fair share of the earth’s resources’,. As expressed in One Wales One Planet, this government initiative was an important declaration of political intent. The 'Global Footprint Network' has recognised Wales as the first country in the world to formally monitor and report on changes to its ecological footprint and to start to plan to achieve this goal.
- In 2015, following on from 'One Wales One Planet, the Welsh parliament passed the Well-being of Future Generations Act
- The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act is one of the most holistic pieces of sustainable legislation to be passed anywhere in the world, with the aim of securing the well-being of current and future generations.
- The Act identifies goals and objectives to improve the well-being of people in Wales.
- It introduces national indicators that measure the difference being made to well-being with the aim to move beyond GDP.
- The Act establishes a statutory Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, whose role is to act as a guardian for the interests of future generations in Wales, and to support the public bodies listed in the Act to work towards achieving well-being goals.
- The Act outlines local service boards and well-being plans, as appropriate statutory instruments for integrated community planning from grass roots needs, upward.
International Classrooms On Line is now developing the Well-being of Future Generations Act as the central feature of a mind map for life long learning for future well-being and to encourage people to produce their own local rescue missions. The mindmap is under construction at is available to the public at: