SustainablePembrokeshire

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Introduction
Pembrokeshire is a county that is located in the South West of Wales with a population of 123,500, covering an area of approximately 1,590 km2[1] Pembrokeshire is very popular for its attractions such as it is located on the coast therefore is able to offer many opportunities. As Pembrokeshire is also accessible, as you can access it via car, public transport or even boat. Pembrokeshire receives millions of visitors travelling along the M4 that stretches from Llanelli to London. At the regional level, Pembrokeshire is aligned with Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea as part of the Swansea Bay City Region. The City Region’s ambitions are set out in the Economic Regeneration Strategy 2013-2030. [2] Pembrokeshire County Council has several goals and targets in order to ‘improve the quality of life and ensure that the natural environment is preserved and protected for future generations’ in which the hope to achieve within the next 10 years, creating Pembrokeshire to being more sustainable. To be sustainable[3] is the ‘the ability to maintain at a certain level or rate.’
Economic sustainability
Tourism is a major contributing factor to the economy. The tourism strategy is based at the national level through the ‘partnership for Growth: the Welsh Government Strategy for Tourism 2013-2020’. Their aim is to increase tourist income by 10% or more by 2020. Pembrokeshire County Council are hoping to achieve this by promoting it ‘Visit Pembrokeshire’. Visit Pembrokeshire is a marking brand that encourages tourism which is managed by Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership within the Pembrokeshire Destination Management Plan 2013-2018. In addition to this, Pembrokeshire are attempting to making it more accessible and increase tourism by encouraging cruise ships to port at the coast therefore increasing the income as well as creating more attractions. Pembrokeshire is also heavily reliant on agriculture. Pembrokeshire County Council has introduced the idea and invested in ‘Green Attractions’[4]. This includes eco-buildings, protecting woodland, wildlife and biodiversity establishment. As well as introducing more renewable energy projects, craft shops, low carbon attractions. Preseli Venture it enables tourists to experience the natural playground of the coastline such as coasteering, sea kayaking, surfing and coastal walking are. Pembrokeshire have also promoted and encouraged local produce[5] as it is more sustainable and lowers input costs as well petrol costs. In addition to this it reduces the CO2 emission and increasing employment. Fishing is also both an attraction and an income. It was more of an important industry around the 16th century as it was dependent on the income although the industry declined. Milford Haven, the former sea fishing industry has now been reduced although limited commercial fishing is still granted. Despite this, Pembrokeshire still hold fishing events such as the ‘Fish Week’ which attracted 31,000 toursits and made an income of £3 million in 2014.[6]

According to Pembrokeshire Local Development Plan[7], Pembrokeshire have installed a plan to evenly distribute house planning between both rural and urban areas in order to maximise employment and install low carbon and renewable energy.

Pembrokeshire have several small businesses although only have a survival opening of 1 year period, this could be due to tourist only being present in a specific season. Despite this, Pembrokeshire unemployment is only 3% including students in full-time education. [8]
A sustainable environment in Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire’s natural environment is one of the main attractions in residents and tourists. Therefore, the protection and sustainable development is a crucial factor in this area. Pembrokeshire’s national park is one of fifteen in Britain and is protected because of its untouched, natural countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage[9] One measure towards sustainable development in Pembrokeshire’s environment is the Sustainable Development Fund. The SDF supports projects that provide benefits to improve the quality of life for all in the National Park. Sustainable development should ensure a better quality of life, for future generations as well as the present. The projects should combine protection of the environment, creation of distinctive place, sensible use of natural resources and social progress for the aim of a more sustainable Pembrokeshire to be met or ongoing. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has assigned £200,000 for the financial year 2017/18. To apply for the funding an individual, a group of individuals, a small business, local organisation or a community group can apply for the fund if their project idea is in the best interest and improve the quality of the Pembrokeshire coast National Park [10] To be successful in receiving the grant the project will have to have one or more of the following: • protect and enhance the environment and wildlife • use natural resources carefully • improve understanding and awareness of sustainable living • recognise the need of all people • contribute to resilient vibrant communities • provide opportunities for local employment and economic growth • preserve local culture and heritage • realise health benefits afforded by outdoor access and recreation The Little Green fund is the same principle, but on a smaller scale, to the SDF scheme for sustainable projects applying for £1,500 or less. The Pembrokeshire Mencap Stackpole Gardens, Cemaes Head Himalayan Balsam Eradication Project and the Ramsey Power Project are examples of successful projects that the SDF has created. [11] A sustainable environment in Pembrokeshire is a beneficial factor in the growing economy. Tourists travel to experience the scenery and exceptional coastlines which boosts local economy. The money visitors spend can help enhance the scenery and wildlife of the area, and create jobs to cater for the needs of the tourists. However, as environmental sustainability is defined as the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation and non- renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. If they are not able to continue for an unlimited amount of time, then it is not sustainable. As the world’s standard definition of environmental sustainability is sustainable development, which is sustainable economy but economic growth is not considered continuous indefinitely. Therefore, to achieve economic growth in Pembrokeshire whilst being environmentally sustainable, may not be 100 percent achievable (Goodland and Daly, 1996).

Sustainability at the Pembrokeshire coast
With over 300 kilometres of coast line, ensuring the area is sustainable is a priority for the Pembrokeshire council. One of the first concerns was improving coastal protection along the whole stretch of Pembrokeshire’s coast line, and alongside this providing information on how locals and visitors to the coast can assist in maintaining the coast line in a sustainable way. One enterprise that has been introduced to the coastline is sustainable adventure tourism, which is tourism that addresses the needs to visitors, host communities, and the industry, whilst taking account of its economic, social, and environmental impacts both in current times, and in the future. This type of industry enables visitors to experience the natural beauty of the coastline through activities such as coasteering and various water sports, while having a minimal impact on the coastline itself. Perhaps the most successful initiative in ensuring the coast is sustainable, is the coastal bus service. Introduced in 2000, and again improved in 2009, the local bus services travel the length of the coast line in both directions, allowing visitors to walk the coast path without bringing multiple cars, or without the need to drive from one end to the other. Estimations suggest that these bus services have been successful in reducing the number of cars in the National Park by over 30,000 in one year. Furthermore, it has maintained to be successful as in 2011, it has transported 70,000 passengers. [12]


Social Sustainability
The main focus in terms of social sustainability in Pembrokeshire is on the introduction of community projects, activities, and events, which are set up and led by local residents. Groups work closely with the community to develop specific projects tailored to each locality to improve the area where it is needed most. These projects offer the opportunity for locals to gain skills and provide access to employment, as well as making improvements to the overall feel of the area. These projects encourage the involvement of local people and organisations to improve the quality of like within their community. The council is also promoting the improvement of several specific points to improve social sustainability across the whole of Pembrokeshire. The council aims to make improvements to social services, youth services, services for the elderly, education, health services, and community safety across the county as well as making the more specific improvements on a smaller scale.



Mulligan, Martin. An Introduction To Sustainability. 1st ed. New York: Routledge, 2015. Print.

Goodland, R. & Daly, H. (1996). Environmental Sustainability: Universal and Non-Negotiable. Ecoogical Application. 6(4), pp.1002-1017
Hansen, T. &. Coenen, L. (2015). The geography of sustainability transitions: Review, synthesis and reflections on an emergent research field. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 17. Pp. 92-109

References