Lets Take Care of Aotearoa-NZ, Brazil, the Planet
Over the past five years or so there has been an amazing role out of an environmental education programme in Brazil called ‘Lets Take Care of Brazil’. This is a brief outline of the Lets Take Care Programme and New Zealand’s connection to it.
Lets Take Care of Brazil is an environmental education initiative in schools throughout Brazil for young people, their families and communities to be involved in environmental responsibility. The Ministers of the Environment and Education, are leading and supporting this education initiative, along with the FPH, a Foundation based in Paris, (www.fph.org and http://allies.alliance21.org/charter) are supporting the international programme.
The Brazilian leaders are so excited about the project they are hosting an international environmental education initiative called ‘Lets Take Care of the Planet’ and have invited countries throughout the world, including Aotearoa-New Zealand, to participate. This is being organized by Brazil government ministries and a Brazilian NGO, working on a Charter for Human Responsibility.
RESPONSE trust is supporting the participation of Aotearoa-New Zealand in Lets Take Care of the Planet. Response is based on collaboration with tangata whenua/Mãori and is involved with education, research and programmes for environmental responsibility. RESPONSE partners with Pacific groups and organizations in Aotearoa-NZ, the Pacific region and internationally in programmes associated with environmental responsibility. RESPONSE is a counterpart to the Brazilian NGO.
There are five aspects to New Zealand’s participation:
1. Seeking political interest and support
2. Liaising with environmental education networks in Aotearoa, and to a small extend with Pacific countries, specifically Vanuatu and Samoa
3. Co-ordinating and hosting a youth leadership gathering. We are investigating working with the five youth delegates who attended the Copenhagen Climate summit and facilitating them share their experiences with a group of younger leaders, aged between 13-15yrs.
4. The participants in the gathering/hui will create an Aotearoa-NZ Charter for Environmental Care and Responsibility, which will be sent to the international conference
5. We are working towards enabling a small delegation to attend the youth conference in Brazil.
1. Seeking political support
The Brazilian government formally invited New Zealand’s participation and we have been in communication with the Minister of Education, Hon Anne Tolley, Minister and the Minister for the Environment, Hon Dr Nick Smith, who have both given preliminary support to New Zealand’s involvement.
2. Liaising with environmental education networks in Aotearoa , and Pacific countries
RESPONSE has been liaising with EnviroSchools in New Zealand as a primary partner organization for this project. EnviroSchools are similarly involved with an extensive programme of environmental education in schools throughout New Zealand, although this is more of an independent initiative which has had some government support from time to time. Both RESPONSE and Enviro-schools are working with mainstream groups as well as with tangata whenua and kura.
The Care Plans which are created in Enviroschools will provide the basis for creating an Aotearoa-NZ Charter for Care and Responsibility for the Planet.
As our discussions with Enviroschools have evolved the opportunity has come up to work with the UNICEF Kiwi Climate ambassadors who went to the Climate Change Copenhagen Summit in 2009. The Kiwi Ambassadors are holding regional gatherings to share information from their experiences in Copenhagen and to contribute to Lets Take care of Aotearoa-New Zealand.
RESPONSE has some contact with environmental education initiatives in the Pacific, especially Vanuatu and Samoa. Consideration is being given to their participation in this project. A youth programme of Wan Smolbag Theatre n Vanuatu is making a Lets take Care Statement and possibly creating a play which they will put on video.
3. Hosting a youth leadership gathering
RESPONSE and Enviroschools have agreed to work together to host a gathering of young people aged 13-15 from various schools and kura throughout New Zealand. After discussions with Enviroschools Aotearoa-New Zealand, we are proposing that a focus will be on bringing a leadership group together with the five young people who were supported by UNICEF to attend the Copenhagen Summit in December 2009. This will given an opportunity to hear first hand about the Copenhagen experience from a youth perspective, and for some younger teenagers to consider ways to be involved in care for the planet.
[It may be that we support the Copenhagen youth delegates to host a local gathering of young people in their own areas, and that we co-ordinate the experience of these at a national level]
Brazil is hosting an international ‘Lets Take Care of the Planet’ young people’s gathering in Brazil, June 5th 2010. We are working towards the possibility of supporting 2 or 3 young people aged 13-15yrs to attend and participate in this event in Brazil. They will of course, be accompanied by adults.
4. Create an Aotearoa-NZ Charter for Environmental Care and Responsibility
As part of the international process of participation in Lets Take Care of the Planet, those participating in the gathering at Te Maurti Tau near Hamilton will create an Aotearoa-New Zealand ‘Charter for Environmental Care’, as will all the other participating countries . These are to be sent to Brazil and will form the basis of an International Young Peoples Charter for Environmental Care and Responsibility.
5. A youth delegation to Brazil, June 2010.
We have plans to support a small group to attend the Brazil conference, 5th June, 2010.
Some key aspects of the ‘Lets Take Care Youth Leadership Hui:
- It is to be held at Te Mauri Tau in Raglan on May 27th – 30th
- The costs of travel and accommodation will be provided by RESPONSE
- Inclusive of tangata whenua and tauiwi
- The possibility of including a small group from Vanuatu is being explored as part of the Pacific regional focus of RESPONSE
- There will be a focus on development of leadership skills and on encouraging reflection with the Kiwi Ambassadors who attended the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen
- The Aotearoa-New Zealand group will produce an A-NZ Charter which will be sent to Brazil. As part of producing this document reference will be made to other charters and plans such as the Enviroschools Care Plans, the Charter for Human Responsibility and the Earth Charter. Consideration can be given to preparing a Te Reo Maori Charter – although this would need to be translated into one of the official languages (including English!) of the Lets Take Care of the Planet conference.
- Beyond this gathering, further ways to support young people in environmental care will be looked at with plans made for follow through and ongoing support from RESPONSE.
We appreciate that you may need more information. You are welcome to ask for further details. In the meantime we hope this is sufficient information for a preliminary notice of the National conference in Hamilton.
Betsan Martin, Pine Campbell, Victor Grbic, Greg Ford
RESPONSE organizing committee.