August-September 2023 | Regulars

Robert Morris – Rotary GB&I Chair of the Board Column

Robert Morris – Rotary GB&I Chair of the Board Column

Robert Morris explains why respecting the environment should be an integral part of all Rotary projects


A New Dawn

August - September 2023

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Structural engineering building design is about solving challenges and requires a consistency of approach. As a working Rotarian, I endeavour to bring that thinking into my Rotary.

It is encouraging that the work of our Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland Regional Board is focussed on the same continuity and consistency of approach, to see through longterm projects and developments that will enhance the Rotary experience and grow the organisation.

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In conjunction with Rotary International support, we have set a target of 60,000 members by 2028. It is indeed an ambitious challenge, needing continuity of all our efforts.

However, it really is achievable if we maintain the momentum shown by our two recent campaigns; where we met the target of a net increase of 1,600 members. My thanks to inaugural Board Chair, Garth Arnold, for bringing Rotary across these islands into the new era and keeping us on focus.

Earlier this year, my wife Ros and I fulfilled an ambition to holiday in the Amazon rainforest. We were humbled to see how locals respect and live in harmony with these amazing ecosystems. They understand its fragility, with simple ideas such as using local food ingredients, clothing that uses local materials and buffer zones to protect nature reserves.

Build environmental considerations into all of our work, near or afar.”

We all have much to learn from this approach and being a mdesignated Rotary Area of Focus recognises that respecting the environment should influence all of our projects and everyday living. There is now significant public traction in actively being more environmentally sensitive. Rotarians can play a proactive part in guiding and connecting with their communities.

After all, everyone can contribute to an improved environment, by how we live our lives – reduce, reuse and recycle – and by including simple sustainable options in our project preparation – reusable or biodegradable cutlery and crockery at your quiz nights and fetes.

Build environmental considerations into all of our work, near or afar. This could be by raising awareness, such as a club speaker; by our own everyday behaviours; or developing projects that achieve community buy-in and sustainability.

Respecting all aspects of our environment will of course improve lives for future generations. Yet with clean air comes better health for us all, clean water in developing regions brings health and economic opportunities, while a canal-side litter pick will enhance your local community and that clean locale brings a boost to everyone’s wellbeing.

That for me is a win-win situation.

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