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Youth Environment Forum underway

Youth Environment Forum underway

Giving young people an opportunity to have a say in the future sustainability of our environment is a major focus of this week's Youth Environment Forum, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"This forum is a great opportunity for me to listen to young people about their views on the environment and what they would like to see done. At the same time, it’s an opportunity for them to understand what’s involved when it comes to managing the environment," Marian Hobbs said.

The 48 young people attending, aged between 15 and 18, represent every region in the country and were selected by their regional councils. They will spend the next three and a half days working on environmental projects, focusing on Waste and Oceans, meeting with guest speakers, and visiting Parliament, the Karori Sanctuary and the World Wildlife Fund centre.

Marian Hobbs said regional councils had gone to a great deal of effort to nominate delegates and she had high expectations of them, many of whom had given up holiday time to come to Wellington. "I expect to be challenged and asked hard questions," Marian Hobbs said. "I want to hear from the delegates about what they as young people want and need from us for the environment.

"Young people can make a real difference to the environment. Engaging them with the sustainable development of New Zealand is something I am strongly committed to.

"The leaders of tomorrow must come from the young people of today, and investing in them - building their confidence and experience - is another form of sustainable development."

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