Stop talking. Start Planting.
On Friday, March 9, 2018, 20-year-old Felix Finkbeiner (b. October 8, 1997, Munich Germany) launched the Trillion Trees campaign in Monaco in the presence of Prince Albert, who has been a loyal supporter of this environmental activist. In this occasion Prince Albert and Felix Finkbeiner signed the Plant Ahead Trillion Trees Declaration.
Supporters from different parts of the world joined Felix and Prince Albert at this important environmental event; Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual leader of Buddhist branch, was also present at the campaign launching. Drukpa encouraged 9,800 volunteers to plant trees in the dessert region of the Hymalaya. Drukpa said: “Felix started his mission when he was only 9 years old, and in Buddhism, he is a grand bodhisattva, someone of a very high spiritual level consecrated to save others. From the point of view of humanity, he is a grand savior of the world.”
Felix had been in the Principality in 2009 to present his Plant-for-the-Planet network that had been set in motion under the slogan “Stop talking. Start Planting.” — with the firm conviction that talking alone brings no results. At the same time they encouraged the support of celebrities and heads of State such as Prince Albert through his Foundation, who helped the campaign, gain momentum and notoriety. Felix has grown into a young man and is now back with a more ambitious goal in the fight for climate justice. Felix and Prince Albert’s reunion was marked by the planting of an olive tree in front of the Grimaldi Forum, a gift to the Prince by Plant-for-the-planet.
“We’re going to be the victims of climate change. It is in our own self-interest to get children to act,” Felix Finkbeiner says with a passion. “At the same time, I don’t think we can give up on this generation of adults and wait 20 or 30 years for our generation to come to power. We don’t have that time. All we can do is push them in the right direction.”
A student’s ingenuity turned into environmental global campaign
Felix Finkbeiner introduced the idea of planting trees all around the world in 2007, as part of a presentation on the pressing issue of climate change and global justice, when he was only 9 years old. He had based his research inspired by Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had planted 30 million trees in 30 years. Felix concluded his expose with the vision that children could plant 1 million trees in every country in the world, based on the fact that each planted tree cleans the atmosphere of about 3 tons of CO2 until it is fully grown. The first tree was planted on March 28, 2007 and Klaus Topfer, former German Federal Environmental Minister and former United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director, became the movement’s patron.
Children from a hundred countries answered the call and founded the child and youth initiative Plant-for-the-planet. Children keep empowering other children at one-day-workshops to spread the word of sustainability, each becoming ambassador for climate justice. (Photo insert: Felix Finkbeiner in 2009 in Monaco to present Plant-for-the-planet.)
Since then, Plant-for-the-Planet has evolved into a worldwide network of concerned citizens for climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Felix and the growing number of children in his team believe that only a world treaty based on climate justice can be the ultimate solution.
So in July 2010, after a 2-year global consultation, the children presented their 3-Points Plan, while urging the Heads of State to do whatever they can to solve the climate crisis and thus protect the planet and the children’s future. The plan summarized the children’s demands: 1) Carbon to the museum by reducing CO2 to zero by 2050; 2) Climate Justice by limiting further warming to the promised 2C level, and divide the usage of CO2 fairly among the world’s population; 3) Plant trees that will bind CO2.
With this effective worldwide campaign, the 3-point-plan and the transparency of the promised and the planted trees, the young world citizens are asking heads of government, company bosses and fellow citizens to support their fight for their future.
In December 2011, UNEP handed over the responsibility for the Billion Tree Campaign to the children of Plant-for-the-Planet. Now the children are responsible for the official global tree counter, and to this date, 15,2015,456,972 trees have been planted thanks to this initiative.
Join the movement to save the children’s future
According to a 2-year study published in Nature in 2015, there are 3 trillion trees on our planet, but over 15 billion trees are lost each year, and the global number of trees has fallen by half since the start of human civilization.
In view of the results of the study, a new target has now been set: A Trillion trees to be planted across the planet as a compelling way to fight climate change, as those trees will absorb an important part of man-made CO2 emissions.
You may also join the visionary movement initiated by the children by PLEDGING TO PLANT A TREE.
“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.” Wangari Maathai