The new Youth Environmental Students (YES) programme kicked off in the Manawatu and Rangitikei with 20 students from six different secondary schools spending a day helping eradicate the weed pink ragwort (Senecio glastifolius) from a local beach reserve.
The activity is the first the students will take part in to develop their awareness of local environmental issues. With a range of agencies in the management group – Horizons Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Massey University College of Education, secondary school teachers, Palmerston North City Council, Manawatu District Council and Environment Network Manawatu – the activities will be varied and focus on different aspects of the environment.
Understanding the social and economic implications of environmental issues will be a key feature, and valuable networking between the students will assist them in gaining skills to become involved in environmental action in their own schools. The students themselves will work together to set and achieve their own goals for the forum.
Twenty-six International Pacific College (IPC) environmental students also joined the group on their first event at Tawhirihoe Scientific Reserve, Tangimoana.
It providing an excellent opportunity for the YES students to work alongside other cultures and discuss global environmental issues.