Celebrating world environment day

Date posted: 02 June 2011

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will appeal to a young generation of conservationists at the upcoming South East Youth Environment Conference on Wednesday, June 8.

Students from 21 primary and high schools in the south east region will unite for an excursion to the Naracoorte Caves and a wetland tour of Bool Lagoon to celebrate World Environment Day at the day-long conference.

According to DENR environmental education coordinator, Natasha Dawson, the conference will boast an attendance of 84 students aged between 10 and 15 years.

"The conference is a fantastic way to bring together environmental ambassadors from across the region to embrace the ‘head, heart and hand’ philosophy of immersing youth in their local environment to generate understanding, empathy and action", Ms Dawson said.

Bent wing bats, fossils, indigenous culture and sustainable living are the primary topics on the conference agenda - 'there's a lot happening in our backyard'.

Students will also be treated to a wetland tour of the Bool Lagoon Ramsar listed site and presentation by ecologists who will teach the students about local animal residents and plants, such as the diverse abundance of bird species with over 160 species utilising the resources of this significant wetland.

A highlight of the day will be the opening of the conference featuring a 'welcome to country' by Ngarrindjeri elder Major Sumner and his dance crew, who will perform traditional dances for the attending youth.

To conclude the day, story display boards highlighting the environmental action projects that the students have initiated within their school communities, will be presented to peers.

The South East Youth Environment Conference is an initiative of DENR and the South East Natural Resources Management Board and is supported by PIRSA Forestry and the Coorong Tatiara Local Action Planning Group.

The conference will be held in the marquee on the Naracoorte Caves Car Park Oval from 10am to 3pm

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Alex Taylor
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