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The 2017 Living Planet Conference was held at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton on the 27th July 2017. The theme of this year’s conference was “What’s your junk status? #Waste2Wealth.” This years’ conference focused specifically on finding solutions to some of the most devastating issues that the environment is facing. This brought together a host of experts in the fields of energy, food and water.
The keynote speaker was former finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who touched on the need for our society to move away from consumerism and wastefulness. The former minister also highlighted the need of the citizens within the country to detect the use of the countries natural resources. Sustainability, social justice and equality were emphasized as values that the country needs to place at our center of core values.

Of all the talks that I heard during the day it was the focus on the wastage of energy which was covered by Dr James Reeler and Tasneem Essop that I found most intriguing. It was amazing to hear about the increase in affordability of renewable energy sources which makes it more accessible to the average citizen trying to improve their life. Their talks restored my hope in the future of struggle towards renewable energy and I am now quite confident that South Africa will succeed in this quest. Pavs Pillay also touched on food waste and just how absurd some of our food preferences are. It was delightful to meet her (Picture below).

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The Living Planet Conference was a truly informative conference and I feel as though I have a better understanding of each of these issue and the way in which we can mitigate the issues. I am ever grateful for the opportunity to attend this event.

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