Update from the President



In chairing a conference this week, I added As-Salaam-Alaikum to my mihi. It is used by the Muslim community to greet people and means “peace be with you”. While our members are professional and considerate, the nature of environmental work can involve a lot of tension. This greeting can ground an engagement with others; helping it to start with kindness and good intent.

Regardless of whether you want to give the phrase a go or not, I encourage you to think about how you can be more inclusive and kind in your engagement with others, whatever their backgrounds.

On the environmental workload: RMLA is keen to engage members when detailed policy proposals are released. As I’ve said before, we’re expecting many. We are working on ways to organise opportunities for you to engage on them through submissions, workshops or, potentially, online surveys.

This might be directly or via KnowledgeHubs, regional branches or our academic advisory group. We’re conscious of the potential for consultation fatigue and are working with government officials to ensure we’re in a position to respond at the right time. Connected with that, we’re meeting with Ministry for the Environment officials on 3 April. If you have anything particular you’d like us to raise with them then please let me or know.

On a separate note, have you seen the interesting work that the Deep South Challenge is doing? Their mission is: “Changing with our Climate” – enabling New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate. They’re clever at “science communication” and are connecting scientists with society, which can only assist good environmental decision-making. Check out their website here