Saturday, March 2, 2024

Hawke’s Bay councils adopt climate action strategy

The Hawke’s Bay region’s Climate Action Joint Committee yesterday adopted a strategy for mitigating, adapting to, and engaging communities around climate change in the region.

The Committee is made up of representatives from the region’s mana whenua and Post Settlement Governance Entities as well as Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Wairoa District Council and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Joint Committee Chair and Chair of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Hinewai Ormsby said the endorsement of the strategy was significant.

“We now have a region-wide strategy that will guide how we work and engage with the wider community on this pressing issue. Key to this will be hearing the voice of rangatahi as they will be inheriting the decisions we make in the coming years,” she said.

The Joint Committee heard from Grace Sayer (Karamū High School), Hazel Hatcher (Taikura Rudolf Steiner School) and Mikyla Jelliman (Napier Girls High School) from the region’s Youth Environment Committee who spoke about the outcomes they wanted to achieve through better public transport, waste reduction and a voice at the Joint Committee.

Grace said, “As rangatahi, our perspectives on how we protect the environment are potentially the most important of all.”

“It was great to hear from the students from the Youth Environment Committee and have them present on the key issues for youth in this space. By adopting their recommendation for representation, we can ensure the voice of future generations are heard”, said Chair Ormsby.

The new strategy focuses on reducing the region’s contributions and response to climate change in six key domains: Biodiversity, Transport, Primary Industries, Waste, Urban Housing and Fresh Water. Successful mitigation, adaption and collaboration will lead to climate resilience for the region.

The Joint Committee first met in May of this year and undertook workshops to establish the vision for climate resilience and identify the six domains. Over the coming months the Joint Committee will develop reduction and response plans for each of the domains. These will then be included in the long-term plans of individual councils where they will be consulted on and funding and resources will be committed.

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