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The University of Wollongong once again hosted a visit to Australia by a group of UNEP Environmental Envoys during the week commencing Monday 16 April to Monday 23 April 2001.

By way of background, the Young Environment Envoys Program was initiated in 1998 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme for Asia and the Pacific in partnership with the University of Wollongong, Environment Australia and QANTAS. Due to the tremendous success of the Program the University hosted the 1999 Program and again this year the 2001 Program. The Young Environment Envoys are selected through a highly competitive process and are aged between 18 and 25 years of age. This year, the group consisted of Envoys representing Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The group is accompanied by UNEP staff and media personnel.

There is no doubt that environmental issues will dominate both private and public sector agendas in the new millennium. The primary outcome of the Program is to identify future leaders in environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources in various regions of Asia, the Pacific and Australia. The Program also provides an opportunity for exchange of experience and views on environmental protection with Australian experts and other tertiary students in Australia and provides an opportunity to make valuable personal contacts.

The Program included:

  • Environmental education and management workshops and fora (Australian undergraduate and postgraduate students involvement).
  • Seminars with industry leaders on environmental issues.
  • Visits to sites of environmental significance.
  • International students Forum on ‘The role of young people in decision-making for ecologically sustainable development’.


The Program offers a number of outcomes with significant and strategic benefits.

These include:

  • Effective enhancement of environmental awareness and sustainable development ideas among future environmental leaders within the Asia Pacific Region.
  • Enhancing Australia’s international reputation as leader in environmental management, development and education.
  • Show-casing Australia’s leading edge and innovative environmental sites and organisations.
  • Recognizing the vision of youth and involve them in critical environmental decision making.
  • Promotion of open communication and networking among environmental youth groups in the region.

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