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UN Sustainability Campaign - Kiwi Kids to the fore

Kiwi Kids to the fore in UN Sustainability Campaign

In a display of typical Kiwi ingenuity, a New Zealand youngster has helped coin the phrase that is set to symbolise a major United Nations campaign in Aotearoa and perhaps throughout the world.

A UNESCO staffer was trying to explain what the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development meant to a group of youngsters recently when one nodded and asked:

“Do you mean Making the Good Things Last?

“Making the Good Things Last is exactly what the UN Decade of Education for Sustainability is about,” says acting UNESCO New Zealand secretary general, Hayden Montgomerie.

“Whether we are talking about sustaining our cultures and languages, our environment or the economic development of our nation: we are talking about Making the Good Things Last.”

“The decade is about those things we treasure and that we are willing to fight for in order to make sure they are there for our descendents”

Education for sustainability is a broad concept that involves educating people and giving them the tools to use but also conserve and protect their valuable assets.

“Land, sea and sky . . .these also include things that Kiwis see as culturally, spiritually, economically and politically important – our taonga as a nation”

The decade celebrates education for sustainable development in terms of achievements in environmental, social and cultural justice as well as economic growth. World Health Organisation chief executive Gro Harlem Brundtland first defined sustainable development as development that satisfies the needs of current generations without compromising the prospects of future generations.

“Thinking about our mokopuna and descendents when we make choices that will ultimately impact on their lives is not a new concept for New Zealanders but the challenge for us all is to constantly consider them in decision making processes,” says Mr Montgomerie.

This Friday sustainability stakeholders from throughout the country are meeting in Auckland to agree on an agenda for the remainder of the decade, to strengthen existing relationships and establish new ones.

The forum will be opened by AUT vice chancellor Sir Paul Reeves and key speakers include Te Taura Whiri I te reo Maori chief executive Haami Piripi who will be speaking on the sustainability of language and environmental advocate Rob Fenwick who has chaired the UNESCO decade committee.

“New Zealanders have a shared history of fighting to protect those taonga or treasures that we value the most such as the Maori language, our native forests and our NZ-owned businesses,” says Mr Montgomerie.

“Making the Good Thing Last is not a new concept to Kiwis but it is one that we can learn more about and use to challenge ourselves and our communities every day.”


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