News from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales (Australia), of an initiative that will actively seek to cultivate sense of place, particularly among the young. Run as a World Responsible Tourism Day activity, it will seek to foster connectiveness to nature using Aboriginal belief systems.
Organiser, Christopher Warren, writes “research confirms that individuals who have pro-environmental values also hold a strong connectivity to nature, and are frequently positive thinkers. Methods [therefore] need to be found to build connectivity to nature which in turn can influence pro-environmental social practice and behaviour”.
To achieve this highly intangible yet very valuable prize, Chris and his colleagues at a local school and in an aboriginal community will try “to determine if elements of traditional environmental care can be transferred to school children [to] successfully build pro-environmental values through connection”.
The 2012 World Responsible Tourism Day marks just the start of this very local action–the activity will run for at least a year and seek to engage youngsters through workbooks, encounters, reflections and story-writing. To find out how this progresses, and perhaps contribute your ideas and moral support, follow Chris and colleagues here.
News of an astonishing agreement that recognises the status of a river in New Zealand as Te Awa Tupua, i.e. “an integrated, living whole”. New Zealand’s Minister for Treaty for Waitangi Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson stated:
Under the settlement, the river is regarded as a protected entity, under an arrangement in which representatives from both the iwi and the national government will serve as legal custodians towards the Whanganui’s best interests.
Whanganui iwi also recognise the value others place on the river and wanted to ensure that all stakeholders and the river community as a whole are actively engaged in developing the long-term future of the river and ensuring its wellbeing.