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Published: 2004-08-20 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is choosing three representatives from the Waikato to attend the second National Youth Environment Forum.

The forum is open to young people aged 16 to 18, and three representatives are invited from each of the 16 regions in New Zealand to go to Wellington in early December for the three day event.

Environment Waikato Schools Programme Co-ordinator Dean King, who will chaperone the students, said delegates need to have astrong understanding of environmental issues facing New Zealand, and the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to tackle them at a community, regional and national level.

Forum topics are still being developed but are likely to include a marine flavour. The focus would be on environmental outcomes, engagement, awareness, consultation and action that could be facilitated by young people in their communities. Participants would be expected to go back to their regions and help initiate programmes, increasing awareness within their own communities.

Applicants need to outline how their attendance would benefit them, their school or organisation and community, what specific regional issues they want to cover and how they have contributed to environmental issues in the past.

They also need support from a teacher, principal or community member.

The three delegates who attended last year’s forum worked with Environment Waikato to plan and run an Environment Waikato Regional Youth Forum in April attended by 30 secondary school students.

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs will be actively involved in the forum and the Sir Peter Blake Trust has indicated interest in working with the Forum.

Students need to apply to Environment Waikato by Wednesday, September 1.