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ECO To Analyse Sustainability Rhetoric Or Reality

ECO Conference To Discuss Sustainability Rhetoric Or Reality

By Maina Perrot – AUT University Journalism Student

Half way through the election year seems a good time for the Environment and Conservation Organisation (ECO) to discuss policies at its annual conference in Wellington.

The three-day seminar, which begins on June 27, will question the sustainability of New Zealand as rhetoric or reality.

ECO executive officer and conference coordinator, Amelia Luxton, says more than 60 organisations and representatives of the main political parties have been invited.

“We will be looking at some main environment issues in New Zealand…we will also discuss policies because it’s the election year,” she says.

ECO chairperson Barry Weeber, says environment minister Trevor Mallard will be one of the speakers and will report on ocean policies.

Greenpeace political adviser Geoff Keey says his role will be to focus on the election and to keep an eye on politicians’ viewpoints.

“We have to work together to encourage politicians to adopt policies to improve the country’s environment management.”

Greenpeace is one of the biggest groups of ECO and will have representatives as well as Keey at the conference.

Massey and Victoria University experts will talk about agriculture sustainability, fresh water quality and climate change.

Issues concerning the marine and coastal ecosystems in New Zealand and the management of human impacts on Antarctica will also be addressed.

“Antarctica is such a key issue in regards to climate change,” Mr Weeber says.

As well as the 65 member bodies, several friends of ECO, general members of the public and officials will be present.

Ms Luxton says the conference is an opportunity for the different associations to share ideas and get involved.

Mr Keey adds it is important for environment movements. “It’s a really good thing for people to come along and to ask questions.”

The Saint John City Church is booked on Friday and Saturday and the conference will end at the Tapu Te Ranga Marae on the Sunday, after a memorial tree planting.

Last year’s convention was held in South Island and was about community environment actions.


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