Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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27th May 2008

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Over 200 students from Narrabeen schools will celebrate the launch of a new climate change initiative this Thursday from 10.45am, at the Coastal Environment Centre, Narrabeen.

Taronga Zoo started the new education program, Peninsula Environmental Action for Community Education (PEACE), to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and promote positive action by local school students.

Renowned comedian and PEACE patron, Wendy Harmer, will speak at the launch about her passion for the environment, and be part of the day's activities.

A Bandicoot from the Zoo's Eduation Centre will visit the students on the day, with Zoo Educators discussing the importance of environmental protection for native wildlife. Bandicoots are locally endangered in the Northern Beaches area.

Zoo Education Officer, David Smith, said: "On Thursday, students will meet an Australian Bandicoot and learn about the impact of environmental changes on this species' survival. Encouraging students and their families to think about the impact their daily activities have on climate change and the sustainability of our natural environment is the best thing we can do for our precious wildlife."

Mr Smith said the response from students so far had been fantastic; showing that with the right knowledge students could make a difference and motivate their community to get involved.

"It's just a matter of showing people simple things they can do to help because we know that people want to help wildlife but just don't know how.  By teaching students about climate change, we hope to influence a lasting awareness of their impact on the environment," he said.

Students will be given a native tree to plant locally as a practical step towards reversing climate change.  They will also help to create sculptures depicting climate change using recycled items from home. The sculptures will be on display at the Coastal Environment Centre on Saturday 31 May.

The day will start with each student walking from Narrabeen Sports High School carrying a black balloon to symbolise carbon emissions in the environment. The balloons will be burst at the end of the walk, marking a key focus of the climate change education program - to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through positive action in schools.

It is hoped that the walk will become an annual event to achieve on-going awareness and practical action for the environment. PEACE is part of a state-wide education focus over 12 regions, partnering schools with key environmental organisations throughout NSW.

For more information contact Media Relations:

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