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Which Way NZ? National Environmental Summit in Thames

Wellington – Tuesday 26 November 2013

Which Way New Zealand?

National Environmental Summit in Thames: ECO Conference

A national environmental summit to chart environmentally better ways forward is planned for Thames, Friday to Sunday 29 and 30 November and 1 December.  The Environment and Conservation Organisations meets in the Kaueranga Christian Centre, near Thames.

The Conference is all about finding new and better ways forward, said Cath Wallace, Co-Chair of ECO who has a family farm and conservation project on the Coromandel’s East Coast.

“We have the new Director-General of Conservation coming to outline his vision and plans, we have community conservation groups talking about their successes.”

“We will be covering climate change, moving away from fossil fuels, the mining issues, and marine management and planning here in NZ, in the high seas and Antarctica.”

The Conference, focussed on “Which Way New Zealand” will look at alternatives pathways and issues and will hear from a series of experts on international developments, New Zealand practice and law, and on  particular issues such as changes to the RMA,  marine spatial planning, the challenges of mining, energy and climate change, and more.

Cath Wallace said the conference will explore the directions of New Zealand environment and conservation policy and management  “Is New Zealand showing leadership, good governance and inclusiveness?  How are the environment and the community being considered and treated in recent law and policy?”

The Friday programme includes a discussion on NZ constitution and references to the environment, changes to the environmental legislation including the Resource Management Act.

Friday evening will hear a public talk by Jim Salinger on the Warming World due to climate Change.  Dr Salinger is an internationally respected expert on global warming who has just had published a book on the issue called “Living in a Warming World”.

Saturdays programme includes a discussion of finding a better path for energy climate and mining.  There will be a discussion on mining threats to the Coromandel and Mining at sea.

A session on conservation will include a key note address from Department of Conservation new Director-Genreal, Lou Sanson.  There will also be presentations on community collaborative conservation.

Saturday will end with a discussion on marine management issues and a presentation on the Hauraki Gulf Forum.  Saturday evening is a celebration of ECO’s members in the region.

Sunday’s programme will be focused on policies for 2014 to 2020 – a key period for international and domestic change as countries move to change in response to a warming world and threats to the oceans and biodiversity.

Where:  The programme will be held at the  Kauaeranga Valley Christian Camp, 304 Kauaeranga Valley Road, Thames, Coromandel
When:  Friday 29 November - Sunday 1 December 2013

Programme: The conference programme and speakers can be found at: http://www.eco.org.nz/what-we-do/eco-conference-2013.html

Notes on ECO: 
1.                  For more information on ECO and to register for the Conference please visit http://www.eco.org.nz/what-we-do/eco-conference-2013.html

2.                  Thanks to Thames Coast Protection Society, the Ron and Edna Greenwood Environmental Trust for support for the Conference.

3.                  ECO is an organisation of about 55 member organisations with a shared concern for the environment and conservation.  Established in 1972 after a late 1971 meeting of many different organisations, ECO comprises both environmental and conservation organisations, and other organisations who share the concern, but may have other purposes as well.  Such other organisations include recreational and professional organisations and the National Council of Women.  Our organisations may be location-based, species based, or activity or concern based.  ECO also has several hundred Friends of ECO, largely individuals, but also a few corporate Friends. 

4.         ECO has long since moved from concerning itself only with specific local problems to considering systemic issues such as the major reforms of environmental administration in New Zealand of the 1980s, oceans governance, and open government.  We work for better governance, better policy design, reporting and implementation. We help communities and governments to find better ways forward for the environment and the long term wellbeing of the community and humanity in general.  We have various relationships with industry, particularly the forestry industries, but rarely accept funding from commercial entities.  We are non-partisan and are particular about that in all our dealings with political parties.


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