College – Issue 31

ANGUS DYSART-PAUL Thinking about the environment

Year 13 student Angus Dysart-Paul is passionate about preservation of the environment and a week-long forum in the holidays gave him plenty of food for thought about some of the bigger issues New Zealand faces.

Minister for the Environment.

“He talked to us about the importance of taking a pragmatic approach,’’ says Angus. “I think this was a good point as some of the students at the forum were a little idealistic about what can be done and how quickly these challenges can be met. Nick Smith pointed out there are four things New Zealand is leading the world in - the All Blacks, sailing, dairy and our realm of the sea. Protecting the vast area of our seas is one of our biggest challenges.’’ Angus says overall the forum was an enlightening experience and highlighted the breadth of issues New Zealand faces in global protection. “The threat of extinction of so many of our species puts us near the bottom of the world list for biodiversity protection. It is a really sobering thought as we think we are so clean and green and believe this is the image we project overseas,’’ he says. His experience meeting other like- minded people and confronting environmental issues has encouraged Angus to think about applying for a further expedition with the Sir Peter Blake Trust to the Kermadec Islands, an area which is currently in the environmental spotlight.

Angus had applied for the Sir Peter Blake Trust Youth Enviroleaders’ Forum in Nelson earlier in the year and was delighted to be one of around 50 young people chosen from around the country and across the Pacific to attend. The forum focused on pest eradication, biodiversity and ocean health. The first day the students took part in Sam Johnson’s Service for New Zealand work day where Sam called for young people to spend a day lending a local organisation a helping hand. They volunteered at the Brook Waimarama Wildlife Sanctuary which is managed by a College Old Boy. Angus was impressed with the forum’s range of workshops which included presentations

from the Port of Nelson and the Cawthron Institute. This scientific organisation focuses on research that helps protect the environment and encourages sustainable development of New Zealand’s primary industries. Their area of expertise includes marine and freshwater ecology, aquaculture, microalgae, biosecurity and natural compound chemistry. Hands-on experiences included kayaking with orcas in Cable Bay and snorkelling with the Next Foundation, a philanthropic organisation founded to restore the Abel Tasman National Park, lowering pest levels and regenerating the beech forests. On the final day, the students gave a presentation to Nick Smith,


College Issue 31 2016

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