AVID newsletter – World Environment Day: June 2017

Introduction by Patrick Suckling, Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment


Celebrated annually on 5 June, the theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Connecting People to Nature’.

It is a time to reflect on the importance of environmental action and to celebrate the valuable work of Australian volunteers working on environmental issues.

Climate change and conserving world heritage – including our reefs and oceans – are at the forefront of the major environmental issues that I am involved in as Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment.

We are seeing increased extreme weather events, rising sea levels and changing environmental conditions. This brings significant economic, environment, health, community and national security risks.

Domestically and internationally, we now recognise that failure to adequately plan and prepare for climate change and extreme weather will worsen risks and costs, especially for the most vulnerable.

The Paris Agreement in 2015 was a turning point in addressing these challenges; the world has agreed to act to transition to a lower emissions global economy and to climate resilient growth.

Australia is committed to taking strong domestic and international action on climate change – both at home and in our support for the region. The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an important part of that action.

Through my role as Ambassador for the Environment and previously as Australia’s High Commissioner to India, I have seen first-hand the value of the contributions made by Australian volunteers. I am pleased to see in this edition of the AVID e-newsletter inspiring examples of Australian volunteers working in South-East Asia and the Pacific on conservation – including of reefs – and environmental challenges.

We understand the impacts of climate change bring with them profound development challenges. The vulnerability of the Pacific nations to the effects of climate change has made them a longstanding focus of Australia’s climate change support. With this in mind, we have made climate change disaster reduction and preparedness for extreme weather events, a priority for our work.

Our aid and the efforts of Australian volunteers, make an important difference, as examples in this e-newsletter show.

I would like to thank all Australian volunteers for their contributions. To those considering joining the program, I hope that the stories in this edition will encourage you to consider assignments related to the environment.

Patrick Suckling
Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment

Find out more about Australia’s sustainability and climate action.



Mr Patrick Suckling, Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment. Photo: DFAT