In June this year, Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation announced our Seventh Area of Focus - Supporting the Environment. Rotary’s Seven Areas of Focus now cover all seventeen United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.
This is immaculate timing for Rotary Melbourne, as the Environment Sustainability Committee was launched recently. The new committee is made up of Garry Fowler (chair), Mina Guli, Peter Berg, Ari Talantis, Jeremy Oates, Mikaela Stafrace, Peter Clements, Sharann Johnson and Yidan Xi.
This new Area of Focus is expected to be of particular interest to younger members and Corporates, and will develop volunteering opportunities, particularly in the area of environmental clean-up, tree planting and regeneration. We welcome participation from Club members, their families and friends.
The Club is already involved in a number of important environmental initiatives, including food and manufactured goods recycling, facial hygiene through water and sanitation, developing sustainable water supply in the Philippines. The committee will therefore focus on supporting those initiatives, as well as developing new projects demonstrating leadership in this area.
The committee will also advise the board on opportunities for the Club to be seen as a Sustainable Club. This will be achieved by looking at ways to reduce its carbon footprint, as well as reducing food waste and recycling.
- It will work with ESRAG (esrag.org) and,
- District 9800 Environmental Sustainability
You can watch the UNEP-ESRAG World Environment Day Forum, via the following link:
The following breakout session at the RI International conference on 'Greening' Rotary Events is also informative:
We anticipate partnering with other organisations with similar objectives, and on the collaboration on projects with other District 9800 Clubs.
One of the committee's first steps will be to develop a framework within which environmental sustainability projects can be considered. An objective will be to identify two or three projects to initially consider. We are assisted by the types of environmental activities around the world that Rotary clubs have already engaged in - these include:
- organizing clean-ups along waterways,
- planting trees and restoring forests,
- reducing food waste,
- lowering plastic pollution and
- connecting with nature.