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Simply expressed, sustainable development is about acting today for a better tomorrow. It is about improving lives, understanding choice and considering the lasting implications of actions on people and planet. Sustainable development can often and mistakenly be understood as solely about environmental considerations.

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Intergenerational equity is a widely recognised principle of fairness or justice between generations. It can be applied to matters relating to economic, psychological, and sociological disadvantages between generations. It can also deal with the dynamics between children, youth, adults and seniors in terms of treatment and interactions.

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The UN Sustainable Development Goals are 17 commitments, often referred to as the SDGs. These were adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 25th September 2015 following UN resolution 79/01.

The SDGs seek to eliminate hardship in our communities, improve health and wellbeing, address quality issues in education, remove inequalities, build strong international relationships and democratic institutions as well as protect our environment.

Through the adopted of resolution 79/01, the international community made a commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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The Office of the Commissioner was set up with the initial priority of developing a Bill for Sustainable Development and Future Generations. The Bill recognises the need to plan and act on the Sustainable Development Goals for Gibraltar and builds upon the learning that has arisen from the experience of the Future Generations Commissioner in Wales.

Prof John Cortes, Minister for Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change, Heritage and Culture, set up the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Future Generations in July 2018. It formed part of a number of initiatives adopted to upscale the HMGOG’s commitments to sustainability.

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The Act is inspired by similar Welsh legislative frameworks and aims to enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of current and future generations in Gibraltar.

The Act places a duty on public bodies to work in a manner that incorporates long-term thinking, whilst promoting sustainable development and preventative action. It provides comparable methods for monitoring and reviewing progress, including the publishing of national indicators and a future trends report.

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