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World Environment Day events announced

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Environment

2 April 2008 Media Statement

World Environment Day events announced

Eleven special environmental events and projects around the country have been awarded grants so far as part of the lead-up to New Zealand's first ever hosting of World Environment Day on June 5, Environment Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"It is great to see communities, organisations and individuals getting behind World Environment Day 2008 and helping to make New Zealand’s hosting of the event a memorable one," Trevor Mallard said.

"This is the first time New Zealand has hosted the United Nations Environment Programme event since its establishment in 1972 – and Wellington is the host city. The World Environment Day theme this year is ‘Working Towards a Low Carbon Economy’. As well as a formal programme, community events around the country are also being planned.

"A number of events throughout New Zealand have already been confirmed and planning is underway for these over the next two months. The first round of funding sees grants totalling around $171,000 going out. A second round of funding for more community events will follow shortly.

"The community events to be funded so far include a Weed Swap – where the public can swap weeds for native plants in Wellington’s Civic Square; a celebratory expo/auction and promotion of sustainable transport by Environment Canterbury in Christchurch; a community-wide tree planting project in Raglan; and a carbon crusade in Hamilton where people run or walk a 4km circuit, each planting trees about 2km in.

"In addition to this, Conservation Volunteers New Zealand will be arranging for non-traditional volunteers (i.e. travellers, backpackers and corporate staff volunteers) to implement a range of practical conservation projects and activities in Auckland, Wellington, West Coast, Punakaiki and Hokitika," Trevor Mallard said.

"The interest that councils, business, communities, interest groups and schools have displayed in World Environment Day 2008 highlights New Zealand’s increasing focus on the importance of the environment and stimulating eco-friendly actions. I encourage more people to get on board to mark this important internationally recognised annual event,” said Trevor Mallard.

The full list of successful applicants is attached, as well as background information on World Environment Day. More information on the event is at (www.world.environment.govt.nz).


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Background to World Environment Day. June 5 2008.

This is the first time New Zealand has hosted the United Nations Environment Programme event since its establishment in 1972. Wellington is the host city for 2008

The World Environment Day theme for 2008 is ‘Working Towards a Low Carbon Economy’.

Events so far include:
- The Art for the Environment Exhibition with works from renowned international artists
- Photographic exhibition from the UNEP International Photographic Competition on the Environment
- International children’s painting competition.
- The Green Ribbon Awards, to be held on the 3 June at the Wellington Town Hall,
- A Leadership in Climate Change Solutions symposium is being organised by the Hillary Institute in Christchurch.
- An Auckland Business and Science Leaders Breakfast on the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change to mark this year’s World Environment Day, presented by the Victoria University of Wellington Institute of Policy Studies, in collaboration with the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute

Guests
A number of high profile international guests and journalists will be in New Zealand to help celebrate World Environment Day 2008. Dr Rajendra Pachauri (United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change Nobel laureate), Achim Steiner (United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director) and President Tong of Kiribati have been confirmed so far.

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World Environment Day: Round one funding of events/ projects


Project in various locations around New Zealand:

Organisation name: Conservation Volunteers New Zealand
Project Title: Action for Climate Change
Location: Auckland, Wellington, West Coast, Punakaiki, and Hokitika
Funding: $44,000
Date: Monday 2 June – Sunday 8 June 2008

Project description: The Action for Climate Change programme proposes a series of activities to engage non-traditional volunteers in a range of locations (Auckland, Hutt Valley and Punakaiki) on World Environment Day and in the week of World Environment Day. In addition the programme also aims to assist the Auckland Regional Council facilitate greater involvement from local community groups and organisations in and around Auckland. Engagement of non-traditional volunteers (i.e. travellers, backpackers, disengaged members of local communities and corporate staff volunteers) will implement a range of practical conservation projects and activities and complement activities in the week with pledges made by participating individual community members committing to further actions into the future.


Summary of events in the Wellington region:

Organisation name: Department of Conservation
Project Title: Weed Swap at Civic Square
Location: Wellington
Funding: $2,341
Date: Saturday 7 June 2008

Project description: Members of the public will bring in garden weeds and swap them for free native plants. People will swap one weed for one native plant per person. To encourage people to “Kick the Habit” anyone with a bike or a bus ticket will be given two free native plants per weed. Biodegradable bags will be provided for the plants and all weeds will be disposed of at a ‘green waste’ site.


Summary of events in the Wairarapa/Masterton region:

Organisation name: Sustainable Wairarapa Incorporated
Project Title: Launch the Makoura Stream Community Restoration Project
Location: Masterton
Funding: $7,500
Date: Monday 2 June – Sunday 8 June 2008

Project description: Trees will be planted during World Environment Day week by children at the schools through which the Makoura Stream passes, plus at a public planting day involving the Mayor, Councillors and members of the community. This brings together interest groups, schools, the community, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Masterton District Council, to implement a management plan for the Makoura Stream that optimises opportunities to enhance or restore the stream ecosystem, manage the impact of severe weather events resulting from climate change and add an increasing number of native trees along the margins of the stream to aid, among others, carbon sequestration.


Summary of events in the Christchurch/Canterbury region:

Organisation name: Environment Canterbury
Project Title: “Step Up Canterbury” – World Environment Day 2008
Location: Christchurch
Funding: $80,000
Date: Thursday 5 June 2008

Project description: The project incorporates two events. The first is a Celebratory Expo/Auction and a promotion of sustainable transport. The Expo/Auction will celebrate sustainability successes and encourage residents to take next steps. A ‘funny money’ auction, exhibitions, seminars, speakers and children’s activities will be held. Organisations and businesses will be asked to donate environmentally friendly items for auction (eg solar heaters, heat pumps) in return for exhibit space and exposure in the marketing campaign.

The second event is a live cross to the Hillary Institute Conference for a presentation on Climate Change. Educational seminars will be held and the documentary “11th Hour” will be shown. There will be story-telling for school children, competitions, school presentations and a debate focused on ‘CO2 – Kick the Habit’. During the day, customers at service stations will be handed a tree seedling carrying a note to gently remind them that tree planting can offset fuel emissions.

Organisation name: Lincoln Envirotown Trust
Project Title: Future Proof Energy Expo
Location: Lincoln, Canterbury
Funding: $1,192
Saturday 7 June – Sunday 8 June 2008

Project description: An expo with talks, displays and demonstrations given by experts such as Landcare Research scientists, suppliers of energy saving products including solar water heating, solar panels, wind generation and insulation. Also a bus tour of homes in the area that already have solar power, energy generation or other ways of reducing their energy use.


Summary of events in the Otago region:

Organisation name: Hampden Community Energy Inc (HCE)
Project Title: Village Action to Combat Climate Change (VAC3)
Location: North Otago
Funding: $4,569
Date: Monday 2 June – Saturday 7 June 2008

Project description: An awareness raising project to include an Energy Efficiency Expo (E3); a Tree Awareness Day; a Cloth shopping bag project; a Local Low-Carbon Community Dinner and the erection of a public sign for advertising local low-carbon events.

Organisation name: Sustainable Dunedin City Inc
Project Title: Dunedin Secondary Students’ Climate Forum
Location: Dunedin
Funding: $3,992
Date: Saturday 7 June – Sunday 8 June 2008

Project description: In partnership with John McGlashan College, this project will host a two-day Dunedin Secondary Students’ Climate Forum (DSSCF). Secondary schools within the Dunedin City boundaries will be invited to send two senior students who have shown leadership on environmental issues. Together they will summarise the problems and the possible solutions for Dunedin, and develop a communiqué for today’s city leaders and they will hear from an expert in communicating messages in schools. Following World Environment Day students will promote their communiqué in their respective schools and collect signatures. They will then co-host a meeting at which the communiqué and signatures will be presented to Dunedin City Council representatives and press.


Summary of events in the Tasman region:

Organisation name: Nelson City Council
Project Title: Nelson/Tasman ‘Less-Cars’ Day
Location: Nelson, Richmond, Murchison, Motueka and Takaka
Funding: $8,720
Date: Thursday 5 June 2008

Project description: In partnership with Tasman District Council a car less day will be promoted. The objective is to raise awareness of transport as a factor in reducing carbon emissions, and to demonstrate alternative transport options to our community. This will serve as a platform for long term behaviour changes and will support the Council objective of introducing enhanced public transport services by 2009. The event will include a free bus service between Richmond and Nelson, car pooling incentives and cycling promotions, as well as street events celebrating the day, including free breakfasts for all participants (cyclists, bus commuters and car poolers).


Summary of events in the Waikato region:

Organisation name: Xtreme Waste Incorporated Society
Project Title: Carbon Wise Whaingaroa
Location: Raglan
Funding: $2,340
Date: Monday 2 June – Sunday 8 June 2008

Project description: This group provides recycling services to all local businesses and schools. For World Environment Day a community wide tree planting project will be held where by one tree will be planted for every 3 wheelie bins that have been filled with paper over the past year. We envisage that the school will plant the trees on site and we will give the businesses a number of choices and they will be able to nominate where they want the trees planted. Sites will be chosen through consultation. A community and school wide education campaign in the run up and during the week will also be run regarding climate change, carbon emissions and the benefit of planting trees and recycling paper.

Organisation: Spark Events Limited
Project Title: Hubbards Carbon Crusade
Location: Hamilton
Funding: $15,575.00
Date: Thursday 5 June 2008

Project description: This is a free event where participants run or walk a 4km circuit, each planting a tree approximately halfway round the circuit. 1200 people will be invited to take part, along with key media. The 1200 people will be made up of 600 primary school children and 600 people from Hamilton based companies. Local celebrities such as Sarah Ulmer, Matt Cooper and players from the Chiefs will also be attending.

Organisation name: Biodiversity Council of Waipa District Council in the South Waikato
Project Title: Importance of Wetlands in intensively managed agricultural landscapes
Location: Lake Serpentine in Te Awamutu and Lake Cameron in Rukuhia
Funding: $1,362
Date: Saturday 7 June – Sunday 8 June 2008

Project description: To understand the issues and remedies associated with sustainable land use in a period of changing climatic conditions this project will increase public awareness. This will be done by providing opportunities to view the unique biodiversity associated with wetlands (lakes and peat bogs), show the benefits to agriculture, demonstrating the ability of soaks, gullies and riparian margins to filter catchment runoff and convert nitrate to gaseous forms of nitrogen. Speakers will address these issues and participants will be transported by public transport.


ENDS

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