Wales: A Sustainable Food Nation Conference

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff, Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter Davies reflects on the issues raised during the IWA Conference and the opportunities that need to be embraced to make Wales a sustainable food nation.

It was good to have the opportunity to chair the IWA Sustainable Food Nation Conference (in early June 2013), which I think will prove to be of real significance in the future of food for and from Wales.
For those unable to attend, the IWA has produced an excellent publication with a range of articles from conference contributors and other experts in the field.
It was significant as the first food conference addressed by Alun Davies in his role as Minister for Natural Resource and Food – the first time that food has been identified as a specific Cabinet responsibility. He set out his agenda and timetable for the publication of a Food Plan by the end of the year and the associated establishment of a Food Board to oversee delivery, stressing the food was emblematic as a statement about who we are as a nation.



Cardiff joins Food Security Land Research Alliance

The main building of Cardiff University

The main building of Cardiff University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Food Security Land Research Alliance (FSLRA) today (Friday 10 May 2013) announced that the Cardiff University is to join the partnership.

The FSLRA was launched in October 2011, using world class inter-disciplinary research to tackle the global challenges associated with developing sustainable food security.

The FSLRA partnership between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter and Rothamsted Research brings together expertise across a range of disciplines from biosciences and agricultural sciences to economics and social sciences, establishing the South West as a centre of global research excellence in food security research and land management.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Cardiff University said

“We are delighted to announce that Cardiff University has joined the Food Security and Land Research Alliance to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing humanity: how can we sustainably feed a growing population? Cardiff will bring a wealth of expertise in the areas of food policy and governance to the Alliance, which is characterised by cross institutional working and an inter-disciplinary approach,”


Community energy projects reducing urban poverty

English: Cardiff University

English: Cardiff University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PhD Studentship looking at building community resilience: the role for community energy projects in reducing urban poverty.

Community-led renewable energy and energy efficiency projects provide a wide range of social and ecological benefits, including cutting carbon emissions, promoting pro-environmental behaviours and building community resilience through generating sources of sustainable income. However, there remains a lack of research into the impacts of community-led initiatives on reducing fuel poverty, particularly in deprived urban areas. How can community groups and the organisations supporting them measure the impacts of community energy projects in reducing levels of fuel poverty? What is the capacity of social enterprises to sustain and better integrate community action in deprived communities? And, how can community development programmes effectively coordinate and support community action on energy that will specifically target the most vulnerable groups? Guided by these research questions, this doctoral studentship position will directly engage with the current knowledge gaps.

esrc logoThe empirical research will focus on deprived urban communities in Cardiff. An interdisciplinary and action research approach will be employed with research participants enrolled as co-researchers. This will support development of methodologies to bridge the gap between science and community and the cooperative generation of new knowledge to support community action. The learning outcomes of the research will be used to support a wide range of community and third sector organisations to develop more effective ways of supporting community action on energy.

The School of Planning and Geography (CPLAN) will be the home school for this studentship position. CPLAN is the largest planning school in the UK and takes a wide definition of planning which encompasses the policy areas of economic development, environment, housing, urban design, transport, health as well as land-use planning. The School strives to be a centre of excellence in research, teaching and policy and practice associated with the planning and management of cities and regions.

The doctoral academic supervisory team is comprised of affiliates of the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE). PLACE combines expertise in planning and urban design, energy systems, rural and urban communities, ecosystems, infrastructure, health, and decision-making which addresses the management and policy needs for integrated place-based solutions. It operates as a scientific ‘meeting place’ in research and training between the Schools of Social Sciences, Planning and Geography, Medicine, Earth and Biological Sciences, Law, Architecture, Psychology, Engineering, and Business. Based in PLACE, the doctoral student will be supported in adopting an interdisciplinary approach which draws on research into sustainable energy consumption, fuel poverty and community resilience from a number of disciplinary perspectives. Interdisciplinary (and cross-disciplinary) working will also guide the action research methodology.

The studentship is also supported by the Welsh Government. As part of this support there may also be the possibility for the candidate to spend some time based within the Welsh Government, situated in the People & Environment Division. The policy scope of this division encompasses: – Energy Efficiency & Fuel Poverty, Local Environment Quality, Sustainable Behaviours and Engagement (inc. SD & Climate Change) and Radioactivity & Pollution Prevention.

Source:  Cardiff

Cardiff Transition Community Mapping

Why a mapping Project?

The Transition community of Cardiff wanted a way to know what was going on in Cardiff and how to get involved whilst also wishing more groups with similar agendas worked together not in isolation so that effective partnerships and combined efforts could bring greater results. Others wanted to celebrate the quantity of action occuring across Cardiff. Whilst a few saw the strategic element of a database/map when deciding where to hold events, have talks, develop outreach and support new projects.

What have we done!!

Through volunteer time we have a created a valuable community resource the largest database, physical map and online interactive map of community groups, projects and organisations in Cardiff who support in some way shape or form environmental, sustainability, climate change issues. This is not just “Greeny” groups but everything from support agencies down to a local community gardens and friends of groups. The map and database are growing all the time with help from the community and our dedicated team of volunteers.

A number of sources have been used in building this database:

  •     WCVA database
  •     CF Hub
  •     Cardiff Transition members
  •     Nigel Pugh’ List
  •     Facebook search
  •     Search engines
  •     Community knowledge

Click the community map tab above or go to

Source : Cardiff transition community