Thursday, May 31, 2012

Environmentality 30 May 2012

Dear Environmentality Listeners,

Bridget, Jaime and Smokey took the opportunity to recognise the United Nations World Environment Day early (officially on 5th of June).  The co-presenters spoke with Graham Hunter, President of the Victorian Division of the United Nations Association of Australia to learn more about the World Environment Day and upcoming events.

The United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) is one of over 100 United Nations Associations from around the world,  which are not-for profit organistations, established to support and promote the work of the United Nations.   The UN Associations from different countries come together as a Federation, and have observer status at UN conferences.

If you are interested, there are opportunities for people to join the UNAA as members in individual state divisions.   The UNAA host a range of activities for members, including talks by visiting people from the UN.  The UNAA also undertake a human rights training program for private corporations.  They also work with schools to facilitate student understanding of climate change through role playing type activities.  You can find out more at

World Environment Day was first recognised around the world in 1972.  The theme of this year is the Green Economy.  Honours will be given to people who have taken an exceptional role in the environment over the last year.  Jaime noted that the architects who designed the Banksia Gardens building won this award a few years ago.  Announcements will take place at a dinner held on the 8th of June this year, and finalists will be listed on the website. 

The UN Environment Programme has defined the Green Economy as, 'Improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities'. 

Also upcoming shortly is the 'Rio+20' Summit, which is the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.  It will be held in Brazil on the 20-22 June 2012.  Rio+20 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, where the 'Agenda 21' was created.  The Rio+20 Summit will seek to broadly address the following two areas:

  1. Common sense of the issues currently facing the world.  What progress has been made over the last 20 years?  Establishment of goals for sustainable development.
  2. Improve private sector reporting, through the establishment of a global reporting initiative.

The UNAA have developed a draft Melbourne declaration for the suggestions on how Victoria can transition to a Green Economy. The UNAA are taking this to the Rio+20 Conference.  

The Environmentality team look forward to hearing from Graham Hunter again in the future to find out more about the Rio+20 Summit and the progress of the UNAA work in Victoria. 

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