The reforestation of our Planet is an immediate necessity
Some time ago I wrote about the huge effort by India and Pakistan to plant millions of trees to combat Climate Change. This is an example to follow by all countries in the world.
Recently a beautiful story came to my attention. It is beautiful because the protagonist was, at that time, a 9-year-old German boy. His name is Felix Finkbeiner.
It is the year 2007 when Felix was working on a study for his class when he read the story of Wangari Maathai, a woman who lived in Kenia.
She received the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace. She was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (2004.) She was the first female scholar from East and Central Africa to take a doctorate (in biology) and also the first female professor in Kenya.
In 1977 she started a grassroots movement trying to counter the effects of deforestation. Women were encouraged to plant trees and start thinking in an ecological way. This movement spread to many other African countries. This movement resulted in the planting of 30 million trees. She has died but her great work lives on.
Felix, inspired by this story, had a vision
Considering that a tree absorbs 10 kg of CO2 each year if all children could plant 1 million trees in all the countries in the world, the carbon removal could compensate for the CO2 emissions. Felix’s teacher was very impressed and had him repeat his speech in front of other students and the director of the school. At the end of his speech, Felix pledged to plant 1 million trees in Germany, and a movement was born. 2 Months later Felix planted his first tree near the entrance to his school, it was a Crap Apple tree.
Trees clean the atmosphere
The Minister of Environment in Germany at that time, and also director of PNUMA, the Environmental program of the United Nations, became the sponsor of Felix. At the age of 10 years old, Felix became the youngest member of the PNUMA. He was invited to speak at important meetings on Climate Change and even spoke at the European Parliament.
The creation of academies worldwide
Felix created academies Planting for the Planet in Germany and many other countries worldwide. Events started taking place organized by and for children. They became ambassadors, transmitting their knowledge on Climate Change, and animating other children to do the same. They were being asked to take social responsibility and shape their future.
In 2009, in South Korea, the PNUMA held its first child and youth conference. 800 Children signed a declaration for the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. When Felix asked who wanted to be responsible for planting a million trees, within a few minutes hundreds of children from 56 different nations responded.
A million trees were planted
In 2010 the last of the million trees was planted in Germany. One year later Felix held a speech in front of the United Nations and was handed the organization of the campaign 1000 Million Trees, a project of the UN.
Our planet loses 10.000 million trees each year
Nowadays some 63,000 children of the age of 9 to 12 years are affiliated with the organization of Felix Finkbeiner. All together they are fighting for Climatic Justice. This group ordered a study to be done to be able to evaluate the total amount of trees existing in the world. The estimate came up with 3 billion trees – 7 times more than previously assumed. This study was published in Nature in 2015. Another important piece of data which came to light was that when agriculture started some 12,000 years ago there were about twice as many trees then.
Each year our Planet loses some 10,000 million trees. That is why the number of 1000 million trees will not be enough. The new idea is now to plant at least 1 billion new trees by the year 2020. With efforts like this, there will be a considerable reduction of CO2 emissions.
For such a young boy to have this far-reaching vision is indeed inspiring for us all.
Source Share International – plant-for-the-planet.org
Photo Source: Pixabay
Perhaps you like to read my post on the Rain Forest.