[an error occurred while processing this directive] Department for International Development Scott Wilson Environmental Research & Assessment
Yunnan Environmental Development Programme

Study Tour to New Zealand on Sustainable Development

As a part of the Yunnan Environmental Development Programme (YEDP), a project undertaken for the UK Department for International Development by Scott Wilson in collaboration with the , a group from the YPG undertook a ten day study tour to New Zealand in June 2004 to learn about approaches to Sustainable Development and in particular Action Plan formulation and implementation in New Zealand. The group was led by Madam Ma, Deputy Director of the Yunnan Development Reform Commission (YDRC) and Dr Ruth Golombok (then at Scott Wilson, now moved to Atkins) and included other senior members of YDRC, the Yunnan Environmental Protection Bureau and the Yunnan Poverty Alleviation Office.

The group was jointly hosted by the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), both of which were key in identifying and coordinating input from a range of speakers in Wellington and Christchurch and in providing venues for the seminars. YEDP and Scott Wilson gratefully acknowledge this support, and the considerable efforts by these agencies that ensured delivery of high quality events that were carefully focussed to address issues of specific relevance to Yunnan. Particular thanks are due to James Caldwell, Kirsty Johnston and Leslie Woudberg of MfE and to Wen Powles of MFAT. We also wish to express our gratitude to all the speakers and their organisations; details of these, together with copies of the presentations and background material in English and Chinese, can be found below.

The Study Tour programme included 23 presenters drawn from 18 New Zealand organisations, including government ministries and departments, regional and local government, leading research organisations, the non-governmental sector, Maori groups and private companies. They addressed different aspects of sustainable development covering amongst others, policy setting; visioning, setting priorities and actions; legal instruments; roles and interactions of government, scientists and communities in achieving sustainable development; stakeholder strategies, conflict management and education; and monitoring and reporting, with a particular focus on developing and implementing Sustainable Development Action Plans at national, regional and local levels. Two site visits were also undertaken. The first was to the West Coast of the South Island, a region which is economically relatively disadvantaged and yet subject to land use constraints as a result of a logging ban on the rich forest resources covering most of the areas with development potential. The second was to the town of Kaikoura, on the eastern coast of the South Island, where the local Maori tribe has established a highly successful whale-watching venture. Tourism has grown rapidly as a result, which has regenerated and provided a sustainable livelihood for a declining fishing community, while conserving the natural resources of the area.

The YEDP have identified key areas where the examples of, and lessons learnt from, the New Zealand experience will now be applied to inform approaches to sustainable development in Yunnan and in particular to the development of the Yunnan Sustainable Development Action Plan.

A range of documents supported the study tour. Presentations were written in English and in Chinese. These included:

  • Alan Cook, Director, Environment Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, formal host, on the the occasion of the YEDP Study Tour to NZ on Sustainable Development.

  • Richard Hills, Ministry for the Environment on the Environmental Management Framework for NZ.

  • Ken Palmer, University of Auckland on the NZ Resource Management Act.

  • Alison Dalziel, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Graeme Campbell, Ministry for the Environment on the NZ Sustainable Development Programme of Action.

  • Beat Huser, Environment Waikato on Sustainable Development in the Waikato Region.

  • Beat Huser provided supplementary material for interested readers, covering on the Waikato Region, Indicators, and the Taupo Catchment Sustainability Plan of Action.

  • Helen Stott, Statistics NZ on Sustainable Development Indicators for NZ.

  • Helen Beaumont, Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment on the role of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

  • Lesley Woudberg, Ministry for the Environment on Developing Indicators for National Environmental Monitoring and Reporting.

  • Eric Park, Christchurch City Council on Christchurch initiatives to achieve sustainability.

  • Frances Sullivan, Environment Canterbury on key regional sustainability issues.

  • Tim Davie, Landcare Research on Integrated Catchment Management in Nelson / Motueka region.

  • Chrys Horn, Landcare Research on Developing better tools and processes to support sustainability.

  • Phil Lindsay, Solid Energy on Mining with Minimal Environmental Impact.

  • Chris Ingle, West Coast Regional Council on Balancing Conservation and Community Needs in Sustainable Development.

  • Ian Challenger, Kaikoura District Council on Kaikoura's Green Globe initiatives.

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