Sir James Mancham: Sustainability must become part of national policy


It is announced from the office of Seychelles’ founding President, Sir James R. Mancham, that Sir James flew from Baku in Azerbaijan where he was busy last week debating on the political conditions of the world.

Sir James arrived in London last weekend to participate as a VIP guest at the Sustainability Summit organized by The Economist which is taking place at the Banking Hall in the City of London on the theme of ‘Adapt Or Die?’ between 15th and 16th March, 2016.

The Sustainability Summit 2016 is looking at how short term dominates the global mindset, with the need to achieve growth in the present often overshadowing critical preparations for our future.

However the call for transformational, systemic change is growing louder as is the demand for a world in which our people and planet form the bottom line of our economy. The question of course for the summit is to analyse the shift in both policy and practise to bring about a sustainability future.

This Sustainability Summit 2016 has brought together a diverse cross-section of leading stakeholders from industry experts, to investors and policy-makers to next generation-thought-leaders.

This high level Summit is intended to provide a forum for candid discussions in an effort to progress and widened the sustainability dialogue.

In a world of seven billion people with a GWP of over US$70 trillion, social and environmental impacts are becoming ever more apparent. As economies and populations continue to surge, so too does the need for a bold framework to transform the path of global development from untenable and short-term-oriented to forwarding-looking and sustainable. But what will the new framework look like and what first steps can we take now, whilst the fate of our people and planet is still firmly in our hands, towards achieving a viable future?

Over the past few years, social and environmental sustainability has begun to creep up the list of national priorities for governments around the globe. This international panel of Ministers will highlight key successes and challenges in implementing long-term, sustainable policies. What role does the public sector have to play in future proofing its society? Where can public, private and regional partnerships be utilised to further the sustainability agenda? What investments need to be made where, and by whom?

Dealing with the above situation today were five main speakers – Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor of The Economist; Miranda Johnson, Environment Correspondent of The Economist; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the Internatinal Trade Union Confederation, who is also Commissioner of the New Climate Economy; Per Bolund, Minister for Financial Markets and Deputy Minister for Finance of Sweden and Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore.

Asked to comment on the objectives of the Summit, Sir James said that obviously it is intended to lay the framework for global sustainable development. In this connection, it would be important for government to make sure that sustainability is incorporated into national policy.

There is certainly a great value at risk of inaction. The challenges of course will be for government to bring global civil society, and businesses along this journey.

Sir James is expected back in Seychelles on Friday after attending a high-level forum in New Delhi, India; the Annual Meeting of the World Future Council in Hamburg; The Fourth Baku Forum in Azerbaijan and The Economist Summit in London.