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Taking the next steps with environmental education

Press Release – Hawkes Bay Regional Council

Over 180 people from New Zealand and overseas will be attending the NZ Association of Environmental Education’s biennial conference at Lindisfarne College in Hastings on 19-22 January.Taking the Next Steps with Environmental Education

Over 180 people from New Zealand and overseas will be attending the NZ Association of Environmental Education’s biennial conference at Lindisfarne College in Hastings on 19-22 January.

The conference is hosted by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the theme is ‘Taking the Next Steps – Te Ahu Whakamua’. The conference comes mid-way through the United Nations Decade for Sustainable Development, and delegates will be considering new aspects of sustainable development and environmental education.

Conference attendees will be coming from all over New Zealand, and also from Australia, Malaysia, Germany, South Africa, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. They come from a wide range of environmental education roles in business, local and central government, iwi, community and more traditional education settings from pre-school to tertiary.

“It’s encouraging to see the level of interest in this conference and how many people are now involved in environmental education in all aspects of business, iwi development, community development and mainstream education,” said Emily Rockwell, conference coordinator for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council which is the conference host.

“The conference is offering excellent speakers who are leaders in environmental and social care, and who will address the main theme of progressing education for sustainability in all aspects of our communities.”

Keynote speakers will include: Dr Roger Maaka, Professor of Maori and Indigenous Studies at Te Manga Maori at Eastern Institute of Technology(EIT) and a member of recently formed UN-Habitat experts panel on Indigenous Peoples in Cities; Metiria Turei, Co-Leader of the Green Party; and Annette Hamblett, public awareness supervisor for the Department of Conservation.

John Minto, the political activist, will be on the social change panel.

The youngest conference speaker, Megan Hunt, a student who has just completed her final year at Central Hawke’s Bay College, is on the panel also. Megan was a Year 7 student on the inaugural Pukehou School Green Team, which went on to achieve a Green/Gold Enviroschools award in 2006. She has been involved in developing student-led environmental care programmes at her high school and through the Youth Environment Council, so she is well placed to give a young person’s view of sustainable action.

Phil Smith, President of the Australian Association for Environmental Educators, will also present at the conference.

The conference is being hosted by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in association with the NZ Association of Environmental Education. UNESCO is a major sponsor for the conference. Other conference supporters are Department of Conservation, Massey University College of Education, Auckland Regional Council, Environment Waikato, Dunedin City Council, Hamilton City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, reef (Reef Environmental Education Foundation)and Waiariki Institute of Technology.

The conference is being convened by the Central Hawke’s Bay company, Game Plan NZ Ltd.

ENDS

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