Sunday, February 6, 2011

‘For us children, forests are our future’: Young activist tells adults at UN to ‘stop talking & start planting’...

Thirteen-year-old Felix Finkbeiner was invited from Germany to address the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York this month. Inspired by the United Nations Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign, Felix founded the Plant for the Planet organization to mobilize children around the world to plant trees.

In an eloquent speech at the launch of the UN's International Year of Forests, Felix declared: “For us children, forests are our future.” He referred to the poverty crisis and the problem of climate change and cited several reasons for a lack of progress on these issues including a perception of the future among adults that leads to short-term thinking among global leaders.

In response, Felix pointed out that “children have to take our future into our own hands” and outlined three goals: zero carbon emissions using existing technology, eliminating poverty through climate justice, and planting trees and protecting forests.

His organization started a new campaign called “Stop talking, start planting,” which has used photographs of children with global leaders and high profile environmental activists. Felix is pictured here with Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen, who was named a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador in 2009.