Festival focus to look after our planet.

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A new non-profit group in Wanaka will highlight sustainable development during a week-long festival that starts on Saturday.

The Festival of Sustainability, organised by One New Zealand, will include discussions, workshops and hands-on activities.

Co-founders Arna Craig and Monique Kelly, both of Wanaka, said the group’s framework was the United Nations sustainable development goals, which provided a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future”.

“They are a map going forward about what we need to look at, the scope of what sustainability is all about, and One New Zealand is really about trying to translate those into a community,” Ms Kelly said.

Making the goals “relevant at the grassroots” was the aim, so the two decided to create the festival to provide a forum for community groups to connect with leaders from business, science, health and government.

“We’ve got one planet, one biosphere, and we have to start really taking care of it,” Ms Kelly said.

Speakers from local organisations and across the country had been invited to lead discussions, including sustainable building, ethical fashion, renewable energy, social enterprise and environmentally friendly tourism.

Activities would take place with local community groups, including a beach clean-up, backyard trapping, native planting and creating home-made cleaning products.

An exhibition by Wanaka’s primary school pupils would show how they imagined their community would look in 2050, and a fashion show would stimulate discussion on sustainability and up-cycling.

The aim was bringing together a wide range of organisations to stimulate conversation and collaboration.

“We just want to be the enablers for those conversations between the right people,” Mrs Craig said.

Donation boxes would be set up to support fundraising for the Upper Clutha Community House and the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust “Love Lake Wanaka” project, with the goal of planting 24,000 native trees and plants along waterways.

The Festival of Sustainability runs from October 20 to 28.

For a list of events visit: onenewzealand.co.nz/one-summit-events