Environmental Champions Sought

Environment Minister Nick Smithhas called for nominations for the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards which recognise the achievements of New Zealanders who are dedicated to protecting and improving our environment.

The nominations should show how the work of an individual or organisation has contributed measurable environmental benefits, is innovative, goes the extra distance and has raised awareness of environmental issues, Dr Smith said.

This year, the Awards include a new category, recognising the Green Economy.

''The concepts of Green Growth and the Green Economy have been gaining momentum internationally since 2008. The Green Economy is one of two main themes for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio +20, being held in June this year in Rio, Dr Smith said.

This government is very focused on growing the economy and creating new jobs, there are real opportunities in the environment area for smart new businesses to create wealth and jobs by better use of natural resources, recycling and reducing pollution. This new Award recognises these green economy opportunities.

The Green Ribbon Awards showcase the inspiring achievements of New Zealanders who are dedicated to protecting and improving our environment and these Awards are the Governments way of acknowledging their work and saying thank you, on behalf of all New Zealanders.

The winners will be announced on the 5th of June to coincide with World Environment Day, Dr Smith says.

For Category details and nominations forms for the Awards which close on 23 March 2012, visit www.mfe.govt.nz/green-ribbon