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Queenstown, embracing sustainability

Recently had the pleasure of visiting Queenstown – New Zealand – again. It truly is a magnificent place. If you ever need to be reminded why embracing Sustainability is very important, just take a look at Queenstown. The town is an example of how the environment, community and economy have been combined together to form an example of a sustainable area. The reliance on nature does, however, expose the risks unfortunately associated with climate change effects.

The hope is that areas like this are preserved to show how often competing trends can be combined for the overall benefit. Nature supplies us with numerous examples of how peace and harmony can be achieved and sustained – we just have to listen and appreciate. Our environment is fragile and definitely worth preserving for all our futures.

Let’s learn natures lessons and embrace sustainability not only for current but also future generations. The balance between environment, community and economy is fragile but when balanced can achieve sustainable results, Together Sustainable Change can be achieved.

Humanity sometimes believes that it is the master of this global environment, but when you stop to look at what nature creates, it is obvious that humanity has a lot to learn. On a recent visit to Queenstown, I was able to look at the sculpting effects of the Shotover River. Here, the river and the glacial and geothermal forces over the history of this area have created a truly impressive landscape. Such regions are there to be appreciated by all and are essential for the appreciation of future generations to come. The growing embracing of Sustainable Principles is allowing regions such as this to be managed and preserved for all to appreciate.

The builder of such areas like this – nature – have created sustainable areas – we need to learn those lessons and be humble enough to appreciate nature’s mastery.

Arguably one of the world’s most exciting sports is also potentially one of the most vulnerable. Each year, people of all age, gender and cultures participate in skiing – often to different degrees of success. The sport of skiing (including snowboarding) creates the environment for fun and recreation.

The challenge is, of course, to balance the fragile alpine environment with the needs of the community and the economy. In alpine areas, the community and economies are usually very diverse and widespread. The inter-relationship between the various elements of alpine regions must be considered at all times.

The link is not only at the alpine level but also has a significant impact below in the rivers, lakes, farms and towns below which create the overall environment that recreational areas like this exist.

The needs of the various stakeholders are often so diverse that they may be considered as conflicting. Are they?

Conflicting stakeholder requirements are often, in reality, different perspectives of similar or related requirements. When mixed together the differing requirements can form a dynamic and effective sustainable environment for all. The need to listen, consider and rationalise the competing requirements will create a balance that can produce effective sustainable outcomes.

In the case of alpine regions, the foundations have been laid over time and the popularity of the sport has created an environment where people want it to be preserved for future. Given the desire to be preserved, it is an example of how conflicting needs can and must be balanced to preserve the benefits that we have by understanding nature’s forces and community needs.