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NZ Delegates Announced for Eco-Minds Forum


New Zealand delegates announced for Eco-Minds sustainable development forum

Three students will represent New Zealand at a sustainable development forum in the Philippines next month.

The trio were named today as winners of the New Zealand Eco-Minds Challenge, run by the NZ National Commission for UNESCO and Bayer New Zealand Ltd.

Anne Molineux (Wellington), Carl Chenery (Auckland), and Soriya Em (Auckland) will join students from across Asia Pacific in Manila from October 26 - 31 to address sustainable development issues and develop innovative solutions.

Bayer's support for the nine-nation Eco-Minds youth forum is part of a three-year global partnership between the health care, crop science and high tech materials company and the United Nations Environmental Programme.

Bayer New Zealand spokesman Phil McSweeney said science and technology were key to the attainment of sustainable development. However, socio-economic and cultural factors also played an important role.

“Supporting youth forums such as Eco-Minds is a major focus of Bayer’s social commitment, particularly in the fields of education and sustainable development."

“We’re thrilled to be able to send three New Zealand students to such an important forum where they will not only share ideas with other students, but also learn from world renowned sustainable development speakers.”

Margaret Austin, Chair NZ National Commission for UNESCO, and head of the Ecominds judging panel, described the quality of applicants as outstanding.

"This reflects an understanding of the issues facing us all. Their commitment to sustainability, and desire to take a leadership role in the community gives me much confidence in their ability to take up the challenges which lie ahead."

"The task of selecting the representatives was daunting and I wish them all well for the future."

Anne Molineux is a second-year law and arts student at Victoria University of Wellington.

She is a member of the United Nations Youth Association of New Zealand (UNYANZ), a member of the New Zealand implementing committee for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), and was the New Zealand delegate to the Global Environmental Action Asia-Pacific Eco-Youth Conference in Japan earlier this year.

Carl Chenery is studying at the University of Auckland for a Masters of Engineering Studies in Sustainability while working as a mechanical engineer at URS New Zealand.

Carl is a committee member of Engineers for Social Responsibility and the New Zealand Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science. He is one of 60 young people participating in the Future Leaders Programme, an 18-month leadership development course run by The New Zealand Leadership Institute.

Soriya Em is a studying for a post-graduate diploma in environmental management at the University of Auckland, where she received an honours Batchelor of Technology degree in biotechnology. She is the founder and chief operating officer of LIME Biotech, a start-up company which is developing microbially-enhanced odour control technology. LIME Biotech, which stands for Leading Innovations in Microbial and Environmental biotechnology, won the inaugural University of Auckland Chiasma I-Volve Challenge, an initiative aimed at addressing the need for enterprise-savvy biotech scientists. The venture is also one of 11 qualifiers in this year's Spark 40K University of Auckland Entrepreneurship Challenge.

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