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Young environmentalists get active

Young environmentalists get active

Young people with a passion for the environment are helping ensure the spirit of Sir Peter Blake's work lives on, through a forum aimed at inspiring action in their own communities.

Forty-five environmentally active teenagers from 15 regions are in Wellington this week as part of the 2006 Sir Peter Blake Youth Environment Forum.

The forum is being hosted by the Ministry for the Environment (the Ministry) in partnership with the Sir Peter Blake Trust and regional councils, with involvement from Environment Minister David Benson-Pope and Youth Affairs and Associate Environment Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

While attending the forum, the delegates work with Ministry staff on practical projects, focusing on water quality, waste management and urban design. They will also measure their own impact on their environment through daily 'waste audits'. At the end of the forum, they present their project findings, before taking these back to their own schools and communities for action.

"As Minister for Youth Affairs and Associate Minister for the Environment, I am particularly pleased to be involved in an event which combines two of my passions," Ms Mahuta said.

"This forum is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain a greater awareness of environmental issues and to provide inspiration for them to take future action to improve and protect their own environment.

"Managing the challenges and opportunities that face our environment is a complex issue. The decisions that are made today will have an impact tomorrow. This is why it is especially important that committed young people like those at this forum have a strong understanding of the issues facing this country, and are supported and encouraged to help find the solutions to them.

"Sir Peter was a great leader and an inspiration to many. In line with his vision, this government firmly believes that young people can make a real difference to the sustainable development of our country and our world. We are therefore committed to supporting the interest that young people have in the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for both."

The forum is the third organised by the Ministry.


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