Toward a sustainable future

One of the world's most exciting conferences, 'Pathways to Sustainability' will be held in the City of Newcastle in 1997 during its bicentenary year. All cities and towns face a great challenge today - how to improve the environment of urban areas in a way that involves local communities. Accelerating urbanisation has inevitably resulted in a trend of environmental degradation of cities and towns, a trend that needs to be arrested. Based on the evidence of many of the case studies to be presented at this conference there are answers. The cooperative action of business, Local Government and community leaders is crucial.

But, how do we do it? Where are the resources best directed? How do we know if local programs are making a difference?

There is no single answer, in fact there are many 'pathways to sustainability'. What we do know, however, is that those businesses and cities that focus on making the best use of the least natural resources, will be tomorrow's 'winners', socially, economically and environmentally.

Whether your interest is in the greening of your town, sustainable business, resource efficiency, establishing strategic plans or another area, there will be something in the 'Pathways' conference to help you now, and give you an eye to the future. Agenda 21 asks all cities and towns to develop their own local plan - a Local Agenda 21 by 1996.

A central premise of the conference is that the global objectives of Agenda 21 cannot be achieved without the local responses of cities and towns all over the world. This conference will provide the best international and national examples to assist local communities in responding.

Importantly, 'Pathways to Sustainability' in its concluding session will consider personal commitments to action and a declaration on behalf of local communities internationally - a commitment to achieving sustainable cities and towns.

The conference has been endorsed by:

  • International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
  • International Union of Local Authorities
  • United Nations Environment Program
  • United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development
  • Australian Local Government Association
  • Environs Australia: Local Government Environment Network

'Pathways to Sustainability' is sponsored by Energy Australia, the Australian Government, New South Wales Government, the 1997 Bicentenary Events Corporation and their principal sponsor, Prime Television.

Over 100 speakers from across the world will present at the conference.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr Edward de Bono - leading international authority on creative thinking
  • Cr Breda Cass - Mayor of South Dublin
  • Cesar Maia - Mayor of Rio de Janiero
  • Andrew Steer - Director, Environment Department, World Bank
  • Vandana Shiva - Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology & Natural Resource Policy
  • Jane Nelson - Director, Policy & Research, Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum