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Tomorrow's leaders save the planet

Tomorrow’s leaders save the planet

10 May 2006


New Zealand’s environmental leaders of tomorrow gathered in Wellington recently at the Sir Peter Blake Trust Youth Forum. Among them were four students from the Auckland region, who have earned recognition for their outstanding efforts to improve our planet.

The Auckland Regional Council was tasked with reviewing the region’s applications and selecting four students to attend the forum.

ARC Environmental Management Committee Chair Dianne Glenn was very impressed with the standard of applications.

“It is wonderful that the council can assist young people who show leadership in their schools and communities. Pollution, waste and urban development continue to have an impact on our natural environment. We must help educate and support our future environmental leaders,” she says.

The Youth Forum, which is jointly sponsored by the Ministry for the Environment and the Sir Peter Blake Trust, has been running since 2004.

This year’s event focused on sustainable urban design and storm water and electronic waste recycling. The emphasis on ‘learning by doing’ saw delegates go on field trips to waste recycling plants, storm water recycling facilities and mobile phone companies. Seminars and workshops on sustainable transport and sustainable events, urban design and leadership all provided practical learning opportunities.

The Forum culminated in each delegate giving a presentation to 130 guests, including MfE staff, members of parliament and the Minister for the Environment, the Hon David Benson-Pope.

“Auckland representatives Rose Beasley, Siddhi Ayyar, Benita Kumar and Carley Lockey have returned bubbling with ideas,” says ARC Environmental Educator Cate Jessep, the students’ chaperone for the week.

Rose Beasley intends to set up a school environmental forum and to encourage recycling plus energy and resource saving initiatives for a new school building.

Siddhi Ayyar plans to start a youth enviro-forum for Auckland, to encourage youth leaders to discuss recycling. She would also like her school to start a recycling programme.

Benita Kumar is interested in promoting more green space and trees for people in urban areas.

Carley Lockie wants to restart her school environmental group. She would also like her new school gymnasium to be built with features such as solar energy, better insulation and water controlled taps.

ENDS


- Rose Beasley, Year 12 – Takapuna Grammar
Rose was the youngest delegate. She was one of 40 people who participated in a Rakino Beach clean up in January (rubbish bags and gloves provided by ARC) and helped replace noxious weeds with native seedlings on Rakino reserve. Recently Rose joined a nighttime survey with ARC’s Dr Graham Ussher to search for skinks and geckos.

- Siddhi Ayyar, Year 13 – Lynfield College
She leads a school environmental group of 50 students, which won a Bronze Enviroschools Award last year. Siddhi has assisted in tree planting on Motuihe Island and was invited to release the Saddleback there. She has also organised a water testing group at Margaret Griffin Park and has helped develop and raise funding for her school’s cultural garden.

- Benita Kumar, Year 13 – Auckland Girls’ Grammar
As a member of her school’s envirogroup Benita has helped raise student awareness about recycling by organising a can stomping day and trash monster design competition. She was chosen from the group to help paint the Arataki Visitors Centre underground tunnel. Last year Benita participated in a six-day youth sustainability project run jointly by Untouched World, Auckland City and The Univerity of Auckland.

- Carley Lockie, Year 13 – Saint Dominic’s College
Carley is the Saint Dominic Environmental Captain and has helped to organise tree planting, litter reduction and seminars to increase student awareness of the environment. As a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Carley has gained appreciation for her preservation of the environment for future generations.

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