Environment award candidates

Rowan Biggs.
Rowan Biggs.
Climate change and ocean health will be the focus of three Otago secondary school environmental leaders who have been selected to attend the 11th annual Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeaders' Forum in Wellington next month.

Shanna Verhoef (17), of Bayfield High School. Juliette McMullan (16), of Otago Girls' High School, and Rowan Biggs (17), of Wakatipu High School, are among 50 year 11-13 environmental leaders from around the country who will participate in the five-day forum (April 27-May 1), which aims to address topical environmental issues facing New Zealand, and to help delegates develop strategies to address them.

Shanna Verhoef.
Shanna Verhoef.
The forum provides a hands on, pupil-driven programme, designed to inspire and build the capability of young environmental leaders.

A forum spokeswoman said delegates would have the opportunity to participate in field trips and workshops, develop leadership skills, and meet and engage like-minded contemporaries, inspiring and informative speakers and experts - including Sir Peter Blake Trust alumni, Ministry for the Environment staff, local and national politicians, subject experts, and business and community leaders.

Juliette McMullan.
Juliette McMullan.
The forum also puts the pupils in the running to win a place on a Young Blake Expedition.

Following the inaugural Young Blake Expedition to the Kermadecs in 2012 and the Young Blake Expedition to the Southern Ocean and Subantarctic in February this year, delegates at the 2014 Youth EnviroLeaders' Forum may also be eligible for selection, she said.

Details about future expeditions will be available later this year.


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