2010 Youth Leadership for Sustainability Awards

6 August

Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu are celebrating the contribution of young people to environmental sustainability this month.

The 2010 Youth Leadership for Sustainability Awards are a joint initiative between Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu recognising awareness of environmental and social issues among Canterbury’s youth.

The awards ceremony is being held on Wednesday, August 11, at the Salvation Army headquarters at the corner of Durham and Chester Street, Christchurch, beginning at 2pm. Environment Canterbury commissioners Dame Margaret Bazley, Rex Williams, David Caygill and David Bedford and Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Mark Solomon, will be attending.

The individual award was open to students in Years 12-13 and recognises their work in sustainability, either through their own initiative or by supporting or leading a wider project. The group award celebrates the contributions of a youth organisation, marae or school.

In no particular order, prize-winners for the individual category are Roseanna Gamlen-Greene, Rangi Ruru; Laura Silcock, Marian College; and Thomas Ferguson, Lincoln High School. The group category prize-winners are the Lincoln Enviro Organisation; Nina Valley Restoration Group; and Youth River Action.

Environment Canterbury acting chief executive Don Rule said this is the first year that the awards are being presented and they recognise initiatives that young people are undertaking throughout the region.

“By working alongside young people and organisations, Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu are working to create a healthier, sustainable community both now and into the future.”

“The activities undertaken by the entrants covered a diverse range of environmental issues and they also demonstrated innovative ways to convey their work to a wider audience. This involved breaking through traditional forms of media using YouTube and social media and these channels are essential to promoting environmental awareness to a younger audience,” said Mr Rule.

“These awards are one way that we can recognise the initiatives and vision of our rangatahi. Often some of the best ideas come from young minds, and we should not hesitate to adopt these ideas as we endeavour to safeguard our environment,” said Mark Solomon.