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Dec 2011

Billion Tree Campaign handover to young generation

On 7 December, 2011, at the end of the International Year of Forests, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) handed over the Billion Tree Campaign to the children of Plant-for-the-Planet.

Inspired by Wangari Maathai and launched in 2006 by the UN Environment Programme. The campaign catalysed tree planting action on all continents. The billionth tree, an African Olive, was planted in Ethiopia in November 2007. In 2008, the campaign's target was raised to seven billion trees.

The campaign has found many supporters in the corporate world, governments and many non-governmental organisations like the World Organization of the Scouts Movement, and the UN Peacekeeping missions.

Plant-for-the-Planet had been a member of the Billion Tree Campaign since 2007. Under its roof, children all around the world planted millions of trees. The move of the Billion Tree Campaign from New York to Munich shows an acknowledgement of the right of the young generation to own – and secure – their own future. Now it's children to watch over the grown-ups that they too plant their trees and don't spend the resources on their favourite game: corruption.

The current goal is 13 billion trees.

See: Billion Tree Campaign

string: Moving UN speech by Felix Finkbeiner

Felix Finkbeiner delivering his speech at the UN headquarters. © Plant-for-the-Planet
Feb 2011

Moving UN speech by Felix Finkbeiner

2011 was proclaimed by the UN as the International Year of Forests. At the opening ceremony in New York, 13-year-old Felix Finkbeiner addresses the UN with a moving speech, demanding of the grown-ups to care for the planet und give the younger generations a future.

Felix was nine years old when he founded the children's initiative Plant for the Planet in Bavaria in 2007. Plant for the Planet grew rapidly into a world-wide movement and in the first four and a half years of its existence over 3.8 million trees were planted.

Watch video on UN Media

Comment by Fred Hageneder: 'To some viewers, the auditorium at Felix's UN speech might seem half empty but to me it is half full. I compare it with an event about five years previously, when the UN had agreed, for once, to give the indigenous nations of the world some speech time. Some 5,000 indigenous nations, most of them more or less threatened by ecocide or even genocide, were granted 5 minutes (!) speech time. As ambassador they chose a 12-year-old boy from Central America. His brilliant talk was greeted by low attendance, boredom and ignorance. The camera showed delegates engaged in paper scribbles, finger-tapping or impatiently checking their watches. It was torture to watch. Hence I am rather happy with the reception of Felix's message. Times have moved on!'

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