Global recognition for environment festival

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Global recognition for environment festival


13 August 2012

13 August 2012

The Sunshine Coast World Environment Day Festival, hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast, has won an international award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The annual festival — run this year by the Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC), USC, Sunshine Coast Council and Sunshine Coast TAFE — won the Biggest Activity Mobilisation category in UNEP’s World Environment Day Challenge 2012.

The award was one of five announced by UNEP for innovative projects across the globe which helped raise environmental awareness.

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the festival did a fantastic job in raising community awareness about environmental issues, sustainability and the Coast’s unique flora and fauna.

“Sustainability is fundamental to the mission of USC, the regional council and the local community,” Professor Hill said.

“The award recognises the power of a community that can get its act together and cooperate on doing something special.”

Sunshine Coast Environment Council Festival Coordinator Matt Dinneen said he was thrilled to have received this recognition for the festival.

“To receive this accolade more than justifies all the work we have done with the festival over the past two years,” he said.

“People often worry they need to choose between lifestyle or the environment. What we want the festival to show is that you can have both, if you’re willing to look around and be a critical consumer.”

The Sunshine Coast World Environment Day Festival began in 1980 as a gathering of like-minded activists, and has since become one of the region’s largest annual events, attracting well over seven thousand visitors every year.

It has been held at the University’s Sippy Downs campus since 2008.

In announcing the five category winners, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “Today we celebrate five inspiring projects submitted for the World Environment Day 2012 challenge, that illuminate the pathway to a transition to a Green Economy”.

— Michelle Widdicombe

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