During the meeting, participants emphasized the importance of sustainability and how all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are interconnected. The UK Government’s commitment to Net Zero emissions by 2050 and the need for greater efforts to prevent warming above 1.5 degrees C were discussed. The forum shared views on sustainability in rural areas, including challenges faced, costs, and the need for case studies and tools to measure sustainability performance.
Members discussed the need to prioritise areas of focus, promote case studies, and define sustainability goals for the rural community. The importance of considering sustainability as a cultural, social, and economic issue was highlighted. Measures taken by Canalside Farm to improve sustainability credentials were presented.
Participants proposed developing a list of questions or priorities, promoting case studies, and providing information to encourage businesses to embrace sustainability. The idea of hosting events and visits to showcase sustainability efforts was also discussed. Updates on the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), rural crime, HS2 issues, and Staffordshire County Council’s Rural Economic Strategy were shared.
The meeting concluded with a plan to discuss SDGs at the next forum and circulate a note of SDGs for the upcoming months for further discussion.