Tuesday, June 5, 2012

World Environment Day

How are we and our environment going in Victoria? Dr Kate Auty, the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, reports on Victoria's environment. Dr Auty has travelled far and wide and deeply around Victoria speaking with people about environmental issues. And what has that got to do with Port Focus?  Everything and something quite particular -  Kate Auty is a descendant of our inventive, imaginative and indomitable Liardets. Her findings are encapsulated in the the title of her recently released report Many Publics Participation Inventiveness and Change. The key messages from this report are reproduced below.
Dr Kate Auty responds to a question at today's Annual Sustainability Oration
  • 'there is an astonishing amount of inventive and intelligent environmental work being done in the community, often by volunteers, across generations, social and cultrueal backgrounds, geographies and sectors.
  • there are many publics, across the state deeply committed to environmental sustainability who recognise the need for change and who want to be part of that effort.
  • Those driving change are both planning carefully and acting spontaneneously and, while support is always welcome, they are not waiting for outside direction.
  • communities and individuals are driving change in places they know and care about, and they are collaborating extensively and building networks committed to sustainable efforts.
  • Much of the baseline local knowledge underpinning this commitement to change is of long standing, sometimes intergenerational, and it would be constructive if it was offered respect.
  • Meaningful, not token, participation in formal discusion about environmental issues and solutions is a basic requirement for inventiveness to thrive.
  • Support for, and the nurture of, networks builds community capability and individual and collective confidence, and this in turn promotes sustainable outcomes.
  • A partcipating community will be better able to deal with extreme events and calculate risk and respond, reducing reliance upon external intervention
  • Environmental reporting ... must be accessible and responsive to be useful and effective.'

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