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Published: 8 December 2014

Young Australians meet to (re)generate their love of nature

A highlight of the once-in-a-decade World Parks Congress held in Sydney in November was the meeting of 27 young people from across NSW who form part of The (re)Generation, a new project to inspire youth to enjoy and care for nature.

The (re)Generation project group at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.
The (re)Generation project group at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.
Credit: Macquarie University

At the previous 2003 World Parks Congress held in Durban, South Africa, Nelson Mandela urged young people to be part of the conversation around international environmental concerns through an ‘Inspiring a New Generation’ initiative.

The (re)Generation project was launched earlier this year by Macquarie University, in partnership with OzGREEN and supported by the NSW Environment Trust. The aim is to address the growing disconnect between urbanised young people and the natural environment.

The 27 young Australians involved with The (re)Generation have been selected on the basis of their creative ideas to motivate other young people in exploring and looking after the natural world.

Twelve projects developed by 15-25 year olds have been selected including film, social media campaigns, urban design, art, social events, and music. The World Parks Congress provided an opportunity for the young participants to attend workshops with mentors.

The (re)Generation project leader is Wendy Goldstein, a lecturer in sustainable development at Macquarie University, who says the best way to get young people engaged in nature is to ask them how they think it should be done.

‘Visiting natural areas has been shown to improve our emotional, mental and physical state and there is evidence that if young people develop a relationship with nature early in life they are more likely to care for nature and protect it as adults,’ Ms Goldstein adds.

Source: Macquarie University

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