On 5 June each year the United Nations Environment Programme honours World Environment Day to raise awareness about environmental issues and make a call for action. The theme of this year's event is sustainable lifestyles. Its motto is "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care." It is a particularly powerful topic because it encourages everyone to take a moment to question how we live and how our actions impact the planet.
The program this year asks everyone to evaluate our consumer habits—how we shop, eat and travel. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, creating more sustainable lifestyles is crucial. The World Environment Day website states:
- By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption. Living well within planetary boundaries is the most promising strategy for ensuring a healthy future.
It also states that many of the Earth's ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. In this discussion on the matter of public importance, the member for Heathcote stated that living within planetary boundaries is the most promising strategy for ensuring a healthy future and it need not cost the earth. We have to do more and better with less.
Many New South Wales environmental organisations are united by a vision in which our society lives sustainably, recognising the limits and services provided by nature and mobilising our capacity for innovation and investment in the future. Several advocacy organisations outlined that vision in the lead-up to the recent 2015 State election. On World Environment Day those organisations must be acknowledged and I thank the following groups for their work: the Nature Conservation Council of NSW; the National Parks Association of NSW; the Total Environment Centre; the Wilderness Society; the Blue Mountains Conservation Society; the Colong Foundation for Wilderness; the North Coast Environment Council; the Central West Environment Council; and the South East Region Conservation Alliance.
Collectively those organisations have provided a platform for professional and powerful advocacy, research, campaigns and solutions to the environmental issues facing us today. Many of those groups had their genesis in local communities. Through their skill and environmental expertise, their members have risen to be some of the most significant voices in Australia and overseas. On World Environment Day, I will salute those groups and their dedication to a positive vision of environmental protection and nature conservation. Margaret Mead stated:
- Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
I commend World Environment Day to the House.