Leading figures in sustainability feature at festival

Geraldine will be the centre point of sustainability discussion at the Future Living Festival this week.

Events Geraldine co-ordinator Jill Roberts said the event will showcase how serious Geraldine is about sustainability and providing a bright future for coming generations.

One of the national speakers coming to Geraldine is Young New Zealander of the Year 2013 Sam Judd, who is hoping to inspire the high school students.

He will be giving a talk to the leaders of South Canterbury high schools about leadership, drawing from his experiences in setting up the charity Sustainable Coastlines.

He said he is looking forward to coming to Geraldine and was impressed with the approach the festival was taking.

More of New Zealand's most knowledgeable freshwater quality and sustainability speakers will be sharing their opinions in the public forums and discussions.

The festival starts on Thursday with a Water Matters forum.

The panel includes Environment Canterbury Commissioner Tom Lambie, Project Manager of Irrigation New Zealand Paul Reese, Freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy, NZ Fish and Game Council Manager Neil Deans, local dairy farmer Milne Horne and iwi representative Pauline Reid.

It will be moderated by member of the Orari-Opihi-Pareora zone committee John Talbot.

The other main event during the festival is the sustainability panel discussion, addressing issues of what sustainability means for the region, what sustainability laws are in place and what can be done on a regional and national scale to ensure sustainable living.

Offering their perspective on the panel will be international business journalist and economist Rod Oram, MP Eugenie Sage, lecturer on environmental law and member of the Aoraki Conservation Board David Round and Riverton Forest Garden creator Robert Guyton.

Panel chairwoman Jan Finlayson said the point was to bring together high level expertise to "join the dots" on how to achieve sustainability.

Over the four day festival there will also be the usual Earth Hour celebrations.

These will include the 5x5x5 film festival and lantern walk as well as workshops on fixing bikes and tool sharpening.

The Timaru Herald