New Zealand Case Studies

By Lynch, Jenny | Environmental Education, Summer 2012 | Go to article overview

New Zealand Case Studies


Lynch, Jenny, Environmental Education


Chelsea Robinson bubbles with enthusiasm as she describes her experiences in Copenhagen at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The 18-year-old from Waitakere--now based in Wellington studying geography and environmental studies--came from an environmentally aware family and at 15 was stirred into action.

Chelsea credits a speech by Kiwi environmentalist Carl Chenery for inspiring her. "Carl explained that my generation has the opportunity to rewrite the rules in the name of the environment and I realised that I might have something to offer," says Chelsea. She was hooked and changed her career dream from dentist to environmentalist.

Her passion for sharing her ideas and her role as leader of Rutherford College's 150-strong environmental group led her to become one of 12 New Zealand youth delegates at the Climate Change Conference in Denmark last December. The New Zealand youth delegation set out to make young Kiwis' voices heard loud and clear at Copenhagen. Chelsea and the other delegates had the challenges of translating complicated climate change policy jargon and unravelling what was being discussed at the conference for people back home. They also fitted in daily meetings with Environment Minister Nick Smith and International Climate Change Negotiations Minister Tim Groser. …

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