WE All love Welsh Doughnuts!

In 2015, the National Assembly for Wales passed a flagship piece of legislation the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act which places a legal requirement on public bodies in Wales to carry out sustainable development. Oxfam Cymru supported the passage of this legislation through the production of the Welsh Doughnut 2015 which applied the concept of the Doughnut model to Wales. The visual snapshot was stark, showing that Wales was significantly exceeding planetary boundaries in nearly all environmental domains identified, while at the same time, inequalities in the distribution of Wales’ wealth meant that people faced significant deprivation across all social indicators.

Five years on and with Senedd elections looming, a newly formed Anti-poverty Coalition in Wales, Chaired by Oxfam Cymru and partners in Wales Environment Link, decided to replicate the Welsh Doughnut for 2020. The aim of this was to provide an updated picture of the position within Wales from which to reflect on progress. Once again, the picture highlighted that, on our current trajectory, in Wales we are breaking through at least six of nine planetary boundaries (such as climate change, biodiversity loss and ocean health) and failing on all thirteen of the elements that make up the ‘social floor’ of the model for the Welsh population (such as housing, income, governance and education). The status quo clearly doesn’t work for the planet or for people and although the data does not allow for direct comparisons, Wales is as far away from living within the ‘safe and just’ space in 2020 as we were 5 years ago.

The draft Welsh Doughnut 2020 report was discussed at the Cross Party Group on Poverty in January 2020, the final report launched in March and then there was Covid-19. Overnight, efforts across all sectors focussed on responding to the pandemic. But, with a paused economy, time to reflect on our values and a greater appreciation of the connections between human and planetary health, the timing of the Welsh Doughnut 2020 could not have been better. 

Whispers about the doughnut and a wellbeing economy are being heard across Wales. From conversations with Welsh Government Ministers and Senior civil servants to ‘zoom-hall’ discussions in towns such as Crickhowell. In May 2020, Welsh Government joined the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership and there is a growing Wellbeing Economy Cymru movement developing. The call of the President of Ireland is ringing loud in our ears – ‘make the Doughnut humanity’s overriding goal’; the tipping point is so close now here in Wales you can almost taste it!



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