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NZ youth ready to ‘Seal the Deal’

Tunza International Youth Conference in South Korea

Climate protection: NZ youth ready to ‘Seal the Deal’

• Youth worldwide commit to UN’s climate campaign on online town hall meeting
• The University of Auckland and Bayer to host global webcast for NZ

Auckland, 19 August 2009 - New Zealand students committed to climate protection will tomorrow (Thursday August 20) have the chance to take part in a high-tech global town hall webcast meeting on climate change, thanks to the efforts of Bayer New Zealand and The University of Auckland.

The online meeting is part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Tunza International Children and Youth Conference on the Environment, being held in Daejeon, South Korea, August 17 – 23. The conference is supported by Bayer, which has a global partnership with UNEP in the area of youth, children and the environment.

The internet forum gives participants the opportunity to raise their voices, declare their positions and support UNEP’s Seal the Deal campaign.

According to UNEP’s website, the campaign is aimed at “encouraging the governments of the world to agree on a deal that will protect people and the planet when they meet to negotiate a new climate change agreement in Copenhagen this December.”

For the first time, young committed people from all continents, including 20 cities (eg Nairobi, London, Brasilia, Beijing, Auckland and Sydney) will meet virtually with 800 children and youth in Daejeon on Thursday August 20.

Participants will be able to send a strong message from the world’s youth to international climate negotiators preparing for the Copenhagen conference.

New Zealand youth groups taking part include students from the Bayer-organised Eco-Minds youth forum and various university groups such as, Nexus Sustainability, The Sustainability Network, Greens on Campus, Engineers Without Borders New Zealand, Tzu Ching New Zealand, the United Nations Youth Association of New Zealand, Auckland University Students Association and the Youth Delegation to Copenhagen.

Students will be using facilities at the University of Auckland to dial into the online webcast meeting.

“We recently hosted the Eco-Minds Youth Forum in New Zealand as part of our partnership with UNEP. I am delighted that we can extend this involvement downunder by sponsoring New Zealand participation in this highly important global meeting of youth,” states Bayer Senior Country Representative for Australia and New Zealand, Hans-Dieter Hausner.

“I’m sure the quality, enthusiasm and ingenuity of our kiwi participants will shine through and make a valuable contribution to these global discussions on climate change.”

The University of Auckland’s relevant student groups are equally enthusiastic, and Environmental Officer Jenny Chu recognises the opportunities the event will provide for New Zealand youth.

“We have quite a few networks within the University. Together there is a huge amount of knowledge and experience, and the groups are only too happy to contribute to this town hall meeting.”

Following the Tunza conference, UNEP will try to mobilise more than one million young people to support the meeting’s outcomes and deliver its messages to leaders in 100 capital cities, prior to Copenhagen.

Additionally, top winners of the 18th International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment will be announced in Daejeon on 20 August. More than 2.4 million children from around the world took part in the artistic competition about the challenges of climate change and what we can do about it. The competition is organised every year jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Bayer, the Japan-based Foundation for Global Peace and Environment (FGPE) and Nikon Corporation.

For Tunza conference visit: http://www.unep.org/Tunza/Children/Events/icc_2009/
For Seal the Dea campaign: http://www.unep.org/unite/?page=seal
For UNEP-Bayer partnership: www.unep.bayer.com


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