Government Brief (Project) Essay Example

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Brief: Minister’s Speech at the Launch of World Environment Day

Brief: Minister’s Speech at the Launch of World Environment Day

The world commemorates World Environment Day (WED) every 5 June with the aim of raising global concerns and awareness pertaining to proactive and positive environmental ethics and conservation. It also seeks to sensitize individuals and communities on the need to engage in environmental conservation practices by engaging in activities that either help in environmental conservation, such as growing trees, or those that minimize environmental degradation, for example the use of green energy sources. United Nations Environmental Programme runs the event. This event commemorates the day the United Nations Conference on Human Environment began its operations that ran through 5th to 16th June 1972. WED aims at discussing and highlighting the sociological, political, and economical perspectives that pertaining to sustainable environmental activities. Most themes thus target to address environmental issues from diverse perspectives, usually sustainable ideologies. The 2014 theme for WED focuses on ‘Small Islands and Climate Change’.

Target Publics and Stakeholder

The target publics and stakeholders include community leaders, government representatives, environmental activists, not-for-profit environmental organizations, investors, scholars, independent persons, as well as the media. Community leaders play an important role in echoing WED messages within their societies to initiate on-the-ground environmental conservation activities. Government representatives and heads of state have the role of enacting sound environmental conservation policies based on the WED theme. Investors have the opportunity of seeking development projects relating to environmentally friendly technologies. Scholars will serve to review, carry out further research, and document environmental concerns through their literary works. Their presentations also provide a learned perspective to awareness creation based on in depth studies and research work. Media has the duty of disseminating information to larger populations.

Involvement Details during the Event

The event will take place on 5 June at Luna Park Sydney, Australia commencing at 1000hrs to 1400hrs. The minister’s detail shall cater for transport and accommodation arrangements (Only Melbourne, 2014). The minister’s involvement will entail a speech presentation concerning current environmental issues, mitigation measures, and policy developments in line with WED theme. This will follow an invitation by the master of ceremony based on chronology of events for the day, possibly after all presentations from other stakeholders and before an address by the UN delegation overseeing the event. In addition, the minister will engage the media on one-on-one questions pertaining to environmental issues, related politics, and development progresses. The discussion will involve current global progress on environmental sustainability, policy implications, and plans for future conservation. Later, the minister will provide a press briefing concerning the whole event, personal perspectives, and government’s position regarding environmental sustainability. His objective will be to sensitize and persuade leaders, community members, and stakeholders to embark on developing, implementing, and undertaking environmentally sustainable activities including the use of green energy solutions, such as solar, wind, and geothermal. The minister will also take part in the awards dinner ceremony later on 13 June 2014, at the Crystal Ballroom, Milsons Point, Luna Park Sydney (Only Melbourne, 2014).

Current World Environmental Issues

Currently the world faces the challenge of using environmentally friendly energy sources. Fossil fuels and coal continue to be the most important sources of energy throughout the world. Snyder et al. observe that only minimal advancements have taken place towards increasing reliance on other energy sources. It is imperative to enhance campaigns towards the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources to replace fossil fuels (2009, p.6096). Besides, individuals, communities, governments, and interest groups should be proactive in transitioning the world towards using renewable energy resources and enhancing biodiversity (Cox et al., 2000, p.186; Snyder et al., 2009, p. 6096). This is achievable through a proactive political will, which ensures the development, adoption, and use of energy conserving policies (Isaac & Brian, 2006). For example, the world has a capacity to embrace the use of renewable solar, geothermal, wind, and marine energies on a sustainable basis because all these resources are readily available. Individuals, communities, and governments are already aware of the negative environmental impacts associated with the use of nonrenewable energy resources.

Climate has also changed rapidly in the past several years owing to the continued use of fossil fuels. Vardiman (2007) indicates that the world has been warming since the 1880s with most of the warming occurring between the 1970s and 2000. Ice sheets in the Antarctic declined at significant rates losing nearly 150 km3 during 2002-2005 and nearly 150-250km3 in the Greenland between 2002 and 2009 (Vardiman 2007). In addition, solar output declined to the lowest minimum ever experienced around 2000-2007. Moreover, Africa, the Alps, Andes, and other places have undergone observable climatic changes (Thomas & Rahmstorf, 2006, p.30). Rainfall amounts have continued to decline in recent times leading to increased desertification, famine, and long-term droughts. Consequently, this has culminated into low food productivity, food insecurity, hunger, and poverty.

Therefore, it is imperative that governments, communities, individuals and interest groups contemplate the adoption and use of greener energy sources to protect the natural environment. Since most of the world’s poorest populations depend on coal for energy, governments should enact laws towards the use of clean coal that has low environmental impacts. According to Cox et al., clean coal has emits low carbon dioxide, sulphur compounds, nitrogen dioxide, and other harmful substances (2000, p.188). However since this technology is expensive owing to the continuing research, governments should have plans of subsidizing to ensure poor generations access the needed fuel. Carbon taxation is also a thought perspective that governments should consider towards achieving environmental sustainability (Isaac & Brian, 2006). It involves the regulation and levying of fees for individuals, factories, or communities using carbon-emitting sources for running engines, generating electricity, or other energy uses. Wealthy countries, such as Australia, should take lead examples towards enacting carbon taxation for a greener world.

Sustainable sources of clean fresh drinking water pose another global challenge. Clean and sustainable water sources form the fundamental basis of establishing healthy communities (Harwood et al., 2005). Parkes & Horwitz observe that dirty water is a major threat to human health and a contributor to many illnesses and diminishing quality of public health (2009, p.96). Changing climatic conditions and increased pollution, because of industrialization activities, threaten to lead the world into a global water crisis by diminishing fresh water sources in rivers and lakes. Water resources depletion rates are higher than replenishment. Adequate, strategic, flexible treatment, control, transportation, and efficient storage technologies should be used as opposed to older inflexible centralized mechanisms to ensure sustainability of potable water (Weber, 2002, p.242). Governments should enact policies that govern utilization of fresh water sources, environmental pollution, as well as proactive land use practices (Harwood et al., 2005, p.1366). Proactive land use entails the utilization of effective and water conservative irrigation systems, such as drip, to minimize water usage. Snyder et al. (2009) advice that countries in desert regions should consider recycling water for irrigation, cleaning, and other activities, to prevent exhaustion of fresh water reserves while avoiding wastage. In extreme situations, governments can establish quota systems that seek to ration water to prevent excessive usage.

Media Interviews

Media plays a critical role in ensuring that citizens, stakeholders, and related parties get information concerning the day’s events to large audience coverage locally, nationally, and internationally (Chapman et al., 2001). Several media houses are expected to turn up for the event following earlier plans. In addition, they have been briefed concerning the expected attendance, and audience, topic of discussion, order of events, and their anticipated roles. Each of their representatives will have a chance of asking a maximum of three questions during the questioning time. Depending on the minister’s willingness to take in more questions, the event may prolong beyond schedule. Four media houses will grace the event following prior arrangements and invitations. These will include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Australian Associated Press, Advertiser, and the Australian newspaper. Only authorized media houses will have the chance to engage the minister during questioning time.

Anticipated Questions and Answers 

  1. Q. What is your opinion on the world’s population growth rate considering the heavy impact on diminishing environmental resources, need for enhanced infrastructure, and sustainable growth?

  1. A projection of 1.7% is anticipated in the next twenty years from 1.1% in early 2000, a slight decline in growth rate from 2.2% in the 1960s upwards (Montgomery, 2008). Governments should enact legislation towards controlling birth rates to avoid overstretching natural resources in the future. This also entails the development of policies that govern sustainable urbanization through thoughtful planning (Davidson, 2006).

  1. Q. What is the Australian government doing to achieve a sustainable global environment considering it is the global leader in coal exports and consumption?

  1. Currently, the government has plans of revolutionizing the use of renewable, wind, and geothermal energy sources throughout the country to protect the environment from harmful carbon dioxide emissions (Isaac & Brian, 2006; Cox et al., 2000, p.186).

  1. Q. Water resources have been diminishing in the past several years owing to global warming and reduced rainfall amounts. What do governments need to undertake in terms of water management practices to avert a possible future disaster?

  1. Governments should institute mechanisms of controlling land use and efficient irrigation mechanisms, such as drip irrigation, the most efficient water conservative system (Snyder et al., 2009). Desert regions, such as the Middle East, and North Africa should embrace the use of desalinization technologies to minimize usage and exhaustion of natural fresh water sources. In addition, recycling water for agricultural purposes is important in minimizing usage of cleaner water sources (Armstrong, 2006, p.12).

  1. Q. Natural habitats and wildlife have faced challenges because of increased consumerism and earth exploration activities. In Australia, for example, the wild Tasmanian devil is an endangered species and is on the verge of extinction besides other fauna, such as the Northern Tiger Quoll, Black Cockatoo, and the Southern Corroboree frog (Harvey, 2002). It is commendable that the government committed to protecting hunting of the Blue, Humpback, Sperm, and Right whales by terminating whaling activities (Harvey, 2002). What is the Australian government doing towards reversing this trend to conserve near extinct species considering the alleged poor Australian environmental conversation record?

  1. It is true that certain species are in danger of extinction, mostly resulting from illegal hunting, urbanization, and increased consumerism. The Australian government has instituted strict legislation towards illegal hunting and stepped up conservation efforts that target particularly the threatened populations. Currently, the nation boasts being the only Western economy having intact rain forests.

  1. Q. Australia is one of the most urbanized developed nations in the world. What is the government’s plan to ensure sustainable urbanization to curb over-exhaustion of existing infrastructure?

  1. The government, through the planning department, has mechanisms to ensure that built infrastructure adheres to set urban developmental plans (Davidson, 2006). In addition, the government encourages rural development through enhanced technology and infrastructure to discourage rural-urban migration that constrains available resources.

Media Release Announcing the Event 

Chapman et al. (2001) recognize the important role played by media houses in enhancing the publicity of events to diverse audiences and interested publics. News of this event was conveyed through print, social, and electronic media to increase awareness and possible attendance. The event will take place on 5 June at Luna Park Sydney, Australia commencing at 1000hrs to 1400hrs. All individuals are welcome, including community leaders, government representatives, environmental activists, not-for-profit environmental organizations, investors, scholars, independent persons, as well as the media.
Moreover, important and honorary participants will receive official invitation letters to the event with all relevant arrangements catered for adequately. Official invitations play an important role because they show the level of importance attached to individuals for their involvement. According to the Australian Minister for Environment, “the world is at an advanced level of environmental crisis owing to the latest scientific evidences and openly observable climatic and physical changes as well as reduction in water levels.”

The minister’s address during the event will follow an invitation from the master of ceremony requesting the minister to take to the podium to issue a speech relating to World Environment Day theme. The minister will be the last to speak following a speech from the UN representative as well as other key participants in the event. Key spokespersons to address the event will include a representatives of independent individuals, community leaders, environmental activists, scholars, not-for-profit environmental organizations, investors, as well as government representatives, in that order.

The media shall take an active role in capturing the event and conveying the event to larger populations not attending the event. After the event, media will have the chance of engaging the minister in questioning to address diverse issues relating to environmental concerns. Media representatives will have the opportunity of asking a maximum of three questions during the questioning time. In case the minister will accommodate more questions, it shall be open for equal participation.

References

Armstrong A, 2006, Ethical Issues in Water use and Sustainability, Royal Geography Society, 38(1): 9–15

Chapman S, Durrant R, Wakefield M, McLeod K, Clegg-Smith K, 2001, Tobacco in the News: An Analysis of Newspaper Coverage of Tobacco Issues in Australia, Tobacco control 12(2): 75-81

Cox PM, Betts RA, Jones CD, Spall SA & Totterdell IJ, 2000, Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model, Nature 408: 184-187

Davidson A, 2006, Stuck in a Cul-de-Sac? Suburban History and Urban Sustainability in Australia, Urban Policy and Research, 24 (1): 201-216

Harvey MS, 2002, Short-range Endemism amongst the Australian Fauna: Some Examples from Non-marine Environments, Invertebrate Systematics 16(4): 555 — 570

Harwood VJ, Levine AD, Scott TM, Chivukula V, Lukasik J, Farrah SR and Rose JB, 2005, Validity of the Indicator Organism Paradigm for Pathogen Reduction in Reclaimed Water and Public Health Protection, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 71(6), 3163-3170

Isaac HM & Brian SJ, 2006, Robust Responses of the Hydrological Cycle to Global Warming, Journal of Climate, 19(21): 5686-5699

Montgomery MR, 2008, The Urban Transformation of the Developing World, Science, 319(5864): 761-764

Only Melbourne, 2014, World Environment Day 2014, available from: <www.onlymelbourne.com.au/melbourne_details.php?id=11609>

Parkes MW & Horwitz P, 2009, Water, Ecology and Health: Ecosystems as Settings for Promoting Health and Sustainability, Health Promotion International, 24(1): 94-102

Snyder SW, Gopalakrishnan GM, Negri C, Wang M, Wu M, & LaFreniere L, 2009, Biofuels, Land, and Water: A Systems Approach to Sustainability, Environmental Science Technology, 43(15): 6094– 6100

Thomas SV & Rahmstorf GH, 2006, Climate sensitivity estimated from ensemble simulations of glacial climate. Climate Dynamics 27 (2–3): 21-36

Vardiman L, 2007, Institute of Creation research: Evidence for Global Warming, Available from: <www.icr.org/article/3323/>

Weber W.J., Jr., 2002, Distributed Optimal Technology Networks: A Concept and Strategy for Potable Water Sustainability, Water Science & Technology, 46(6-7): 241–246.