Now Reading
Environment| Environment

Environment| Environment

Tony Hams, a friend and advocate of sustainable development, has passed away from motor neurone. He was 75 years old. He was a policy adviser to local governments and spent many years pushing the environmental agenda. He was also instrumental in shaping policy at the national level and held a variety of conservation roles, including chairing the Peak District national parks.

Tony was born in Devizes (Wiltshire) to Maurice, a baker and Edna Winter. After attending Devizes grammar schools, he earned a geography degree from London University as well as an MA in urban planning from Nottingham University. His early career was spent with the Monmouthshire, Derbyshire and Cornwall county councils as a planner.

Tony was hired by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities in 1989 to be their environmental policy advisor. He was soon appointed as the UK’s local government adviser for sustainable development.

He was part of the UK delegation that attended the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Agenda 21, the UN Programme of Action for Sustainable Development, was the key output. This gave rise to the challenge for local authorities around the world to prepare their own Agenda 21s (LA21s), which would ensure a more sustainable future.

Tony became the head of the Sustainable Development unit at the Local Government Management Board in 1993 and set about unlocking LA21’s potential. His tireless encouragement and best-practice guidance helped 90% of UK councils to produce an LA21 within a few years. Many had also appointed officers in order to coordinate efforts to create more sustainable ways of working. Tony organized annual conferences to bring together these environmental coordinators and share best practices.

He was also a UK representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, New York, from 1993 to 1998. He was elected to the Peak District national parks board in 1998. He quickly became the parks chair and held that position with pride and distinction until 2008. He was then appointed to the board of the Peak District national park, and soon became the parks chair.

See Also

Tony’s strength lay in his ability to calmly inspire and persuade both NGO and public sector partners to work together towards common goals. In 1999, he was made an OBE for his services in sustainable development. He maintained that the letters stood for other buggers efforts, as usual self-deprecation.

He was born in Tideswell, Derbyshire. He loved walking the hills with Gina, the family’s Irish setter.

His wife Angela (nee Beresford), who was a graphic designer, and their son George are his survivors.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.