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World sustainability focus turns to New Zealand

World sustainability focus turns to New Zealand

Energy crises are growing from New Zealand to New York; Europe and America face one of their hottest summers on record; Australia struggles to deal with water shortages; and the debate on climate change continues to rage.

With issues of global sustainability ever present in the media, Auckland is about to become the focus for an international Summit to address the questions of how to respond.

In two weeks time, delegates from China, Austria, South Africa, Australia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, the United States, Canada, UK and New Zealand will meet at the Aotea Centre from August 27-30 for the inaugural Digital Earth Summit on Sustainability.

Along with 100 young people aged 17-25 representing the Youth Voice, delegates will hear presentations and participate in workshops to discuss the sustainability needs for New Zealand and the world in an uncertain future.

Among the guest speakers are author and urban planning advocate James Kunstler, and Dr Amory Lovins, who will – in appropriate Digital Earth style – be speaking to delegates via video link-up from the Rocky Mountain Institute in the US.

Also presenting will be international leaders in the development of geo-spatial referencing technology, including Professor Tetsuya Sato, Director General of the Earth Simulator Centre in Japan, Prof. John Townshend of NASA, and Dr Manfred Ehlers, of the Centre for Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing in Germany.

New Zealand authorities on sustainability will also be presenting, including Commissioner for the Environment Dr Morgan Williams and Ann Magee, Chair of the Local Government Sustainability Group.

The Summit's stated aim is to assist industry, government, research and IT leaders to better utilise environmental data already available for addressing goals of sustainability.

Chair of the Society for Digital Earth New Zealand, Richard Simpson, says the Summit is also an opportunity to explore the special role New Zealand could play in helping catalyze the role of Digital Earth technology in addressing sustainability across the entire planet.

Registrations for the Summit are still being accepted through the Digital Earth New Zealand web site: www.digitalearth.org.nz

ENDS

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