YES to sustainability
  • Friday 06 February 2009

Thirty four international students, currently on the Sunshine Coast at the first Youth Encounter on Sustainability- YES course held ‘downunder’, have council’s sustainable initiatives and projects under the microscope.

The YES study tour, run by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich aims to develop tomorrow’s leaders and thinkers to meet the challenges of sustainable development and the cutting edge research needed to address them.

On Friday 6 March the students will visit the Maroochy Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) focusing on the plant’s sustainable operations and council’s initiatives to reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.

On Thursday 12 March council’s environmental scientists will join the students on a Maroochy River cruise, providing them with insight on the achievements and present initiatives of the award winning Maroochy River Recovery project on this biodiversity conservation corridor.

Environment Portfolio Councillor, Keryn Jones said council supported the YES approach to sustainability and was proactive about the problem.

“Current patterns of economic and social development put an incredible strain on the world’s natural environment and cultures and call for action from all sectors of the world community,” Cr Jones said.

“Council applauds the YES initiative because young people have the potential to become change agents for sustainable living in academia, business, government and non-government organisations.

“Council is proud to be showcasing its sustainable projects including the upgrade to the Maroochy STP, a part of the overall Maroochy River Recovery project and looks forward to the creative ideas they might inspire for tomorrows leaders.”

A feature of the Maroochy STP, attracting the attention of the YES program organisers, is the way it utilises methane emissions created through the treatment process to reduce its carbon footprint. This is one of many strategies that form part of council’s overall carbon management response.

With stage one of the Maroochy River Recovery project complete Council is re-defining its approach and focusing on the Maroochy River Estuary, expanding erosion and sediment control initiatives and re-building environmental infrastructure for landscape resilience in the times of rapid population growth, climate change and evolving landuse in the former sugarcane lands.