The young man was in town to meet the Climate Justice Ambassadors and to check out the work done by the Renova Foundation
The climate crisis is a fact and its consequences might be devastating. About 15 billion trees are felled every year. The global carbon footprint already exceeds 36 billion tons per year. Global warming has the power to bring about dramatic changes, with catastrophic effects such as floods, famine, poverty, wars and a potential climate refugee crisis. In an article, scientists from the University of Oxford in England claim that the main weapon for carbon offsetting and combating global warming is the planting of trees. On average, each mature tree draws about 10 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. In countries with a tropical climate, this number can increase considerably.
Felix Finkbeiner from Germany was 9 years old when he learned about this impact on the environment. He is the founder of Plant-for-the-Planet and the last 10 years has been active in the mobilization of young people and children for planting seedlings. Today, the organization’s Climate Justice Ambassadors have planted more than 15 billion trees and their mission is to plant 1 trillion by 2020. This is one of the most ambitious reforestation projects in history and will help to keep the global temperature increase below the 2 ° C limit.
In Mariana (MG), two Academies trained more than 100 ambassadors, who, on November 20, were able to meet the young man behind this initiative. “I am very happy to see all the work being done here in Mariana, the mobilization, and to get to know the ambassadors and their plans for the future. I hope to come back soon and see that this initiative is working,” said Felix. During the event, held at the Reference Center for Children and Adolescents (Cria), in addition to meeting the youngsters, there was also a workshop on irrigation, planting of seedlings and cultural presentations.
According to the CEO of the Renova Foundation, Roberto S. Waack, the visit will encourage a mindset shift among new generations: “Felix is an example of how this generation can transform the world. I know that several of the young people participating in Plant-for-the-Planet will follow this path. It is very important for the youth to be active, to strengthen themselves. The future of this region will be drawn by them. The Renova Foundation hopes to somehow collaborate with this,” said Waack.
We can already notice this mindset shift in some young ambassadors, as is the case of Gustavo Henrique, 9 years. He joined the program because he likes biology and nature and is getting more and more involved. “After we planted seedlings along the walking trail Alameda dos Inconfidentes, here in Mariana, I was so excited to see a tree grow with my help that I bought an Ipe seedling to plant at home. Now, together with the friends I made here in the project, we are thinking about how to set up a botanical garden in Mariana,” comments Gustavo.
Examples are not lacking. Mauro Silva has been cultivating and planting trees in Mariana and nearby regions for more than 10 years. Because of his knowledge and for being a role model to these children, he was chosen as mentor of the project. “I am very happy to see this effort being recognized and replicated. I am available to help, to answer any questions about which trees to plant and how to take care of them,” says Mauro. He actively participates in all Plant-for-the-Planet activities and supports these young people in the fight for a more conscious world.
Plant-for-the-Planet is one of the partners of the environmental education actions conducted by the Renova Foundation. Its goal is to raise awareness and mobilize young people and children in the battle against global warming. Even though its goal is planting one million native trees along the Doce River, the project has an educational, not reparatory, purpose. “The Renova Foundation has programs that focus on forest restoration. They should not be confused with the activities of Plant-for-the-Planet in Brazil. The ambition of the project is to plant one million native trees along the Doce River. The locations will be picked by the population, through an intense process of mobilization and participation. In parallel, the Foundation will recover 50,000 hectares in areas with springs, riparian forests and reforestation,” said the president of Renova, Roberto Waack.