The 13-year-old who has the world planting trees
“Stop Talking. Start Planting”
Plant-for-the-Planet is a children’s initiative that works to raise consciousness amongst children and adults about the issues of climate change and global justice. This organisation also works to plant trees, and considers this to be the most effective action in efforts to reduce the effect of climate change. The idea of Plant for the planet has been established by the nine years old boy name Felix Finkbeinerd , who was working on a school project and through researching got inspiration from Wangari Maathai. He shared an idea that the children of the world could plant 1 million trees in every country on Earth. Thus by planting trees in the school ground on 28 March 2007 the official launch of Plant-for-the-Planet happened. After one year 150,000 trees had already been planted and after he was elected to the UNEP children’s board during the International UNEP Children’s Conference in Norway. Participants from Plant-for-the-Planet considers each tree as a contribution towards environmental and climate protection and also an action for social justice. So they were working to reach the goal of planting more than one million trees more than 93 countries. They became successful by the start of 2011.
Plant-For-The Planet Initiative is led by the Children and Youth Boards. Every year they elect their president. The present president of this initiative is Mohammed Rabiu. It was elected democratically for the first time in 2011. The first president of the board was Felix Finkbeiner and he remained till 2011. Youth Board was formed in April 2012 with a democratic structure. Through this organisation tree planting activities or “parties” are organised by students and children themselves. They find foresters and supply them seedlings and instruct them where and how the seedlings should be planted. The funds come from donations of different organisations. Plant-for-the-Planet promises to plant as much trees as they can to change the atmosphere for the sake of environment. There are many tree planting organisations, for example “Trees for People” in Namibia.
Plant-for-the-Planet also offers educational training in their institutions named as Academies. Here, children who have already been trained in previous Academies, deliver speeches to a new group of children to instruct them about the climate change and train them as “Ambassadors for Climate Justice”. Through group work and presentations the children are taught about climate justice and how to prepare and present these ideas to others in a confident and exciting way. As Ambassadors for Climate Justice, these children educate their friends, schools and families about Plant-for-the-Planet. Thus the activities go on spontaneously. The children of Plant-for-the-Planet get immense help and appreciation from the elders. Professor Klaus Topfer is a patron of the organisation. The AVINA Foundation, the Club of Rome and the Global Marshall Plan offer great administrative support to the organisation. There are also some renowned industries like Develey, Ernst & Young, Hess Nature and Toyota also provide financial support.
During the UN General Assembly in New York, the global campaign “Stop Talking. Start Planting.” was first launched. The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness amongst children and adults about climate change and to encourage people to take eco-friendly actions. Celebrities who have supported this campaign include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Wangari Maathai, Peter Maffay, Gisele Bündchen, Hans Küng, Mary Robinson, Princess Haya of Jordan, Gesine Schwan, Achim Steiner, Oliver Kalkofe, Felipe from Spain and many more. On 8 October 2010 “Stop Talking. Start Planting.” campaign received an EFFIE in the category of Social National/International. Awards are given to charitable organisations each year for the use of effective social marketing and communication campaigns.