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Participation And The Environment

Media Release
Hon Marian Hobbs
Minister for the Environment

30 April 2000


"Participation is the key to making breakthroughs on environmental issues" the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, said today on her departure from New York where she has been attending a meeting of the United Nations' Commission on Sustainable Development.
Marian Hobbs said all people have responsibilities and obligations towards the environment.
"Our actions, be they business or recreational, must not harm our environment and we must be prepared to change any that do," she said. "This government has made it a priority to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
"People in our rural areas, towns and cities need to be informed and involved as this may mean changes to the way we go about our daily lives.
"In 2002, there will be a review of progress since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 produced Agenda 21, the programme of action for sustainable development.
"In New York, I said involvement and inclusiveness were the elements of the review New Zealand wants to focus on. The review process must involve all our people.
"Politicians alone cannot implement environmental agreements. They need to be owned by the people. I want to encourage people to recognise the opportunity the review offers. We can use it to assess and measure our achievements and to raise new issues such as genetically modified organisms.
"I very much want the review to be a process that engages the minds and imagination of our young people who show great leadership on environmental issues. The review and its outcomes must include their priorities.
"In New York, I strongly advocated coordinated preparation not only at the local and national levels but also at the regional and global levels.
"For New Zealand, I see as a priority ensuring our focus includes partnership with our Pacific neighbours. My colleagues from Australia and the Pacific welcomed this idea when I raised it with them and I look forward to exploring this further.
"The task ahead is significant and getting the process underway is a priority for me this year," Marian Hobbs concluded.
The Minister is due back in New Zealand tomorrow morning (May 1).

Footnote: The Commission on Sustainable Development is the leading UN body on sustainable development. It monitors progress on the implementation of the sustainable development action programme agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. New Zealand is one of 53 members.


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