A Public Forum on Rights and Responsibilities for Sustainability
Climate Change and Governance Conference, 28-29 March 2006, New Zealand
Collaborative Environmental Activities
Conservation Roundtable Conference, ALOTOAU, PNG
Local Management of Marine Areas (LMMA) Network Meeting, Fiji
Responsible governance of Watersheds
Samoa, Culture and Environment
Science Technology and Society conference
The Treaty of Waitangi and the Foreshore and Seabed
Water Forum: from the stories of our rivers to the quality of water
Watersheds and Responsible Governance
Leadership in a Climate of Change
As a Representative of the NZ Charter committee, I was invited to a gathering of 48 invited participants to ‘create together new thinking and acting for Responsibility in a Climate of Change.’
It was exciting to meet for 4 days with people who represented business interests, journalists, writers, farmers, various environmental sectors, young activists and older leaders, trade union officials, land cultivators. There were people in humble roles and those who are in positions of great responsibility, for example the Commissioner for Children, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
One of the key themes was ‘that we are living beyond the limits of earth’ and leadership is needed to enable us to work towards commonality of purpose with systems for living sustainably. It was noted that ‘Climate Change is a symptom of human activity beyond the limits of earth’s capacity to absorb waste’.
The gathering was run as a dialogue process, with emphasis on open hearts, minds and wills. One of the younger people identified Responsibility as a burden in our time of environmental crisis. He said ‘we don’t chose the time in which to be born, but we have the opportunity to respond in our time’.
One or two highlights included hearing about a partnership between a New York company and a Maori group in NZ for a permanent hardwood forest sink initiative. NZ Government policy has been slow to initiate climate change policies but has assigned carbon credits to investors to encourage forestry initiatives.
A writer gave a thoughtful view of tourism (a major industry in NZ), and a culture of NZ society as viewing (and objectifying) the landscape, rather learning to inhabit the landscape and live within its life supporting capacities.
Some people felt expressed interest in re-convening for substantive initiatives to emerge.