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Joining Forces to Support Sustainable Development Efforts

With the acute challenges of an ever-growing world population, diminishing natural resources, and increasing levels of pollutants, our will and ability to provide clear stewardship of planet earth are being severely tested.

Holding a genuine belief that each of us not only shares the responsibility to contribute to the environmental quality of our planet but can truly make a difference, a number of established organizations with similar views have launched My Community, Our Earth: Geographic Education for Sustainable Development, an international secondary school competition designed to increase the awareness of worldwide environmental and social challenges through local, regional, and national sustainable development projects.

Respected organizations, including National Geographic Society, Association of American Geographers, and Esri, have joined together in an effort to promote sustainable development awareness among students throughout the world.

"I am asking our international GIS user community to team with their local secondary schools and develop sustainable programs to increase the quality of our environment. I truly believe that we can make a difference." --Jack Dangermond, president of Esri

Recognizing that the worldwide, exponential growth of the use of geographic information and GIS technology could act as a catalyst in launching this competition, the principal organizers are encouraging GIS professionals throughout the world to team with local secondary schools to promote sustainable development within their own communities. It is hoped that through this teaming and the use of geographic thinking and GIS methods, sustainable solutions to local environmental and social issues will result.

Comments Esri president Jack Dangermond, "Sometimes we can be so involved with our own jobs and lives that we lose track of larger issues, such as the many environmental challenges facing our world today. In a major educational effort to promote sustainable development, I am asking our international GIS user community to team with their local secondary schools and develop sustainable programs to increase the quality of our environment. I truly believe that we can make a difference."

Please look for more information regarding the My Community, Our Earth competition at www.geography.com/sustainable or www.aag.org/sustainable.


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