Public diplomacy

Clean Up the World campaign

DFAT posts around the world took part in 'Clean Up the World' campaign activities throughout September 2012.

'Clean up Australia' had begun in 1990, inspired by Australian yachtsman Ian Kiernan. After gaining the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) , Clean Up the World was launched in 1993 as a community based environmental campaign that inspires and empowers communities from every corner of the globe to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment.

In Vanuatu, 600 volunteers participated in a big clean-up event in downtown Port Vila, using clean-up bags provided by DFAT and the Vanuatu Tourism Office. An environmental awareness program in schools around Port Vila was a great success, with the Wan Smol Bag (one small bag) and Live & Learn events teaching children about the effects of littering on the environment.

In Vietnam, DFAT's post at Ho Chi Minh City collaborated with the TaKou Nature Reserve Center in Binh Thuan Province to organise a clean-up of the area. More than a thousand students and teachers, along with DFAT officers, participated in clean-up activities. Locally-engaged DFAT staff and the Head of Mission helped clean up a residential area and plant 20 trees, along with several hundred local residents.

DFAT staff in Chennai, India, joined with 1200 volunteers from local environment organisations, the Indian Coast Guard, students from local colleges, and residents of local fishing villages to clean up Chennai's Marina Beach. The event was timed to coincide with International Coastal Cleanup Day.

In Singapore, the Australia New Zealand Association's Beach Cleanup on 9 September saw volunteers collect more than a tonne of rubbish and 4,000 plastic bottles from Tanah Merah beach.

DFAT's Port Moresby post in Papua New Guinea staged a successful clean-up of Bavaroko Primary School, with more than 300 volunteers, partnering with the education department and the school's board of management. Our post donated bins and cleaning equipment, and the 'taking pride' message resonated well with concurrent Independence Day celebrations.

The State Environmental Protection Agency in Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia, held a clean-up effort that spanned an entire week, with more than 200 volunteers from Pohpei's small population.

And in Washington, in the United States of America, DFAT staff volunteered with the Casey Trees organisation, a group that concerns itself with protecting the tree canopy in the US capital. Some 50 young trees in the circle of land directly in front of the Washington embassy building are being kept watered, and embassy staff will keep a watchful eye on them as they grow.

Volunteer divers from Port Vila Harbour hold up a 'Clean Up the World' bag
In Vanuatu, volunteer divers collected rubbish from Port Vila Harbour.
His Excellency Mr Ian Kemish holding a pole as students look on
Australia's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ian Kemish, helping students clean the school's water drinking area. Part of 'Clean Up the World Campaign' involves encouraging community initiatives that provide clean and safe water access to communities.
Volunteers collecting rubbish from Chennais' Marina Beach on International Coastal Cleanup Day
Embassy staff holding orange traffic cones upide down as a funnel to fill plastic water containers around young fruit trees
Staff at Australia's Embassy to the United States in Washington fill plastic water containers surrounding young fruit trees in a Washington DC city park.
Charge d'Affaires Michael Kulesza sitting at a desk talking to Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa
Charge d'Affaires Michael Kulesza visits with Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa before the Closing Ceremony for Clean Up the World Day on 25 September 2012 in the Federated States of Micronesia.