Future Leaders Congress
The Future Leaders Congress is a forum for young people, run by young people. It brings together youth who can provide the environmental perspectives of young people in their region.
The Congress is an empowering opportunity for young people to develop a systematic and coordinated approach to environmental challenges.
Chapter 25 of Agenda 21 at the 1992 Rio Summit proposed that Governments should pay more attention to the concerns and opinions of youth regarding the environment.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, in partnership with eighteen other Government agencies and environmental organisations, organised the Future Leaders Congress as a forum for 11-17 year olds to voice their concerns, develop an environmental network to promote positive action and produce a Charter to present to respective Government agencies and environmental organisations in Townsville.
The Congress brings together tomorrow's citizens and future decision makers to discuss the environment in an atmosphere of fun and friendship.
Presently it targets four representatives from schools in the cities of Townsville and Thuringowa and neighbouring regions. At the initial Congress, students develop a Charter of Shared Beliefs and present it to leaders from within the community. They then meet resource representatives from local government, environmental agencies and groups, prepare action plans and do something positive for their environment.
It is envisaged that each year meetings will be held enabling youth to have a greater say on environmental issues that, in the long term, will affect them. Teachers from participating schools are also given information and resources to support their representatives and school programs.