Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.
It's a big week on the environment calendar. Today is World Ocean Day, and last Sunday, was World Environment Day, and also New Zealand's own Arbor Day.
I hear the student leaders of Paraparaumu College are marking World Ocean Day with a quick, probably very quick, dip in the ocean at our local Paraparaumu Beach.
Like these local environmental leaders, the world is using the day to highlight the impacts of human actions on the ocean. The point is to mobilise people to promote the sustainable management of the world's ocean.
As chair of the Wellington Regional Council's Environment Committee, I'm especially partial to the ethos of the UN's World Environment Day to encourage awareness and action to protect the environment.
Every year a different country is the 'host' with a unique theme. This year Colombia hosts, with the theme of biodiversity. Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries with over 51,000 species.
Hmmm, I wonder how we bid to be a host, and I wonder what our theme would be?
Perhaps with all the wetland restoration that GWRC is doing in Queen Elizabeth Park, we could pitch New Zealand's theme as wetlands because of the amazing work they do to reduce carbon emissions and improve the natural environment.
Oh yeah, that's right, we were the host country in 2008. Back then we based our theme on 'Kick the Habit - Towards a Low Carbon Economy', which recognised New Zealand's early commitment to achieving carbon neutrality.
And how do you think we are all going with that? Fourteen years on!
Last term I was part of a council committed to setting an ambitious carbon neutral target for our organisation by 2030.
This term I've been part of a team of councillors committed to actions to deliver on that commitment; hence our expanded programme to restore larger parts of QEP to wetland, and us investing in converting our Wellington region's bus network to electric buses.
Not yet job done, but GWRC is well on track towards us being a low carbon organisation.
And through our climate committee, which I'm on and chaired by my colleague Cr Thomas Nash, we keep a watchful eye on progress towards our target.