Environmental conference in Buffalo to address global and local issues - The Buffalo News

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Environmental conference in Buffalo to address global and local issues

A couple of hundred attendees – some from Korea, Australia and Pakistan – are expected in Buffalo this week for the 2013 Conference on the Environment.

The three-day conference, run by the state Association of Conservation Commissions and Association of Environmental Management Councils, will be held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Buffalo.

The conference has been an annual event since 1971. It was last held in Buffalo in 2003.

“It’s an annual conference for informational and training support,” said Peter Rizzo, the conference coordinator. “It’s for the public and appointed officials in municipalities and at the county level.”

The conference begins Thursday evening with a keynote event featuring Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip, who is also an advocate for protecting water resources.

Conference sessions – including those on land use, climate change and the Great Lakes resource management – will highlight Friday’s events. Also scheduled from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. Friday will be a “consensus building” discussion about the Peace Bridge plaza, which will feature Rizzo, Kathleen Mecca of the Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association, and Ron Rienas, general manager of the Peace Bridge Authority.

“Both sides of the issue need to stop attacking the people and attack the issue,” Rizzo said. “It’s about relationships and how important it is to foster successful collaborative relationships to bring the issue forward.”

A tour of the Love Canal site in Niagara Falls and the Niagara Power Project will conclude the conference Saturday.

email: pignataro@buffnews.com

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