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Young professionals aim to force sustainability on to world agenda


A TEAM OF young British engineers is flying to Australia this week, hoping to galvanise other youthful professionals and world leaders into action over sustainability in development.

Four members of the ICE's Graduates and Students National Committee - Jim Bell and Jason Harriman (Mott MacDonald), Helen Field (Maunsell), and Fiona Geddes (Environment Agency) - are attending the International Young Professionals Summit, which starts on Tuesday.

The IYPS brings together 1835 year old professionals to develop workable solutions related to its four themes of eliminating poverty, enhancing social capital, reducing environmental destruction and embracing sustainable practices.

Its recommendations will be presented to world leaders, meeting nearby in Brisbane for the 2001 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2001), from 6-9 October.

At IYPS workshops and discussions will tackle nine action areas within the four key themes, such as education, appropriate technology, population and health, transport, and housing and infrastructure.

On day one the ICE team is running a sustainability workshop focused on transport, housing and infrastructure.

The team is hoping for an audience of about 80 who will tackle issues raised by the ICE Environment and Sustainability Board report Civil Engineering Sector Strategy (CESS). This identifies immediate effective actions needed to improve the sustainability performance of civil engineering, widened to make it relevant to development as a whole.

Participants will be split into four groups to focus on the practical steps that can be taken by business, government and institutions, the community, and the individual in tackling the actions identified by CESS.

Education will be stressed as a priority in all four groups.

While in Brisbane the ICE team hopes to link into the Commonwealth Young Professionals Network, a forum founded in 1997 as the Commonwealth Young Engineers Network, to tackle sustainable development.

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