Sunday, June 10, 2007

World Environment Day Great Green Debate

Tuesday June 5th was World Environment Day 2007 and to mark the day the Sustainability Learning Community hosted the ANUs Second Annual Great Green Debate.

Planning this event has basically been my life for the last several weeks and to be honest, I'm a little surprised that it all managed to come together so successfully given the crunch I found myself in to line up speakers in a timely manner. That said, it was a fabulous event if I do say so myself. We planned a formal dinner for sixty people including students, faculty, staff, the panelists and other invited guests including some of our panelists from last year. This gives students a chance to network with professionals and interact with their lecturers outside of the classroom. Pre- and post-dinner drinks gave everyone time to socialize before the panel began at 8pm.

The topic we chose was "Securing Our Water Future: Social Change or Technological Innovation?" I'm very pleased with the panel line-up which included:

Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

Professor Quentin Grafton
ANU Crawford School of Economics & Government

Professor Patrick Troy
ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society

Wendy McIntyre
Australian Research Centre for Water in Society (ARCWIS)

Dr Tom Hatton
Director, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Research Program (CSIRO)

Panel Chair:
Professor Will Steffen
Director, Fenner School of Environment and Society

The nature of the water crisis was discussed (and whether or not there really is one or if we might just need to rethink water usage is such a dry country) and a range of topics on how to solve it including water restrictions, recycling water, better governance and abandoning the water carried sewage system for one in favour of composting toilets. Lots of interesting discussion followed as you can imagine!

Lots of positive feedback from guests – I'm still feeling a little warm and fuzzy from all of the praise we received! It's fun to be part of starting a tradition…

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