Media Release Foundations Planned

Media Release

Thursday 2.10.08

Foundations planned for a Sustainable New England

Participants at the Public Forum held at NERAM on Monday 22 September have outlined the foundations for a challenging strategy to achieve sustainability for the New England Region.

“More than 110 community leaders and experts worked together at the Forum to develop the foundations of the ‘whole of community’ New England Sustainability Strategy” says Adam Blakester, convenor of the New England Sustainability Strategy Executive (nicknamed NESSiE) which convened the Forum – the first major step in developing the New England Sustainability Strategy and the final event of the 2008 Sustainable Living Expo.

A comprehensive vision of a sustainable New England Region in 100 years was developed – for our great-great-grandchildren. The vision is a new City-Region, built by regional communities working together and nestled within a thriving ecosystem and agricultural landscape. This collaboration is the heart of the protecting, regenerating and enhancing the health and productivity of the landscape, community and economy. Transport systems and energy supply are renewable, with an enhanced economic base of agriculture, education, and knowledge-based services.

The strategic priorities and actions identified to achieve this vision included:
• Build existing and diversity industry, agribusiness and infrastructure by adding sustainability value and showcasing ‘regenerative regional sustainability’, our assets and strengths
• Enhance production and conservation through integrated regeneration of landscapes, local food supply and long term actions on local energy, carbon and biodiversity trading
• Building trust and collaboration through participatory decision-making and a culture of sustainability and creativity, involving youth and enabling them to be heard
• Strengthen existing global ties and networks and establish Sustainability Sister Cities

The wide range of Forum participants reflected the goal for a ‘whole of community’ sustainability strategy and included local/national businesses, farmers, Councillors, social and community development workers, local/state/federal bureaucrats, Indigenous leaders, lawyers, town planners, youth, artists, community leaders, schools, natural resource managers, and sustainability experts.

“Developing and implementing a whole of community sustainability strategy is a challenging task” continues Blakester, “however it is a crucial resource and tool for our Region to take leadership and be sustainable with the kind of economy, culture and environment that builds on our aspirations.”

The New England Sustainability Strategy is funded by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, Armidale Dumaresq Council and Armidale Family Support Services. NESSiE is a consortium of more than a dozen local and national professionals and experts in sustainability and whole of community strategic planning.

A public report on the outcomes from the Forum will be available for comment in the next few weeks, and forms the foundation of the whole of community New England Sustainability Strategy.

To become involved or find out more go to or contact Adam Blakester on 02 6775 2501, 0419 808 900 or ten.yalpmgidarap|mada#ten.yalpmgidarap|mada.

Media Contact | NESSiE | Adam Blakester | 02 6775 2501 | 0419 808 900

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