In 2007, a 10-year-old German decided to plant trees for the benefit of the planet. Today, Felix Finkbeiner is 20 and the Plant-for-the-Planet initiative he launched has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 14 billion trees already planted.
1 000 billion trees planted by 2020 could absorb a quarter of the CO2 emissions emitted by human activities
Following a presentation on climate change, the schoolboy, wanted to make a contribution to save the planet: “Let’s plant one million trees in each country of the world!” Inspired by a Kenyan biologist (Wangari Maathai), the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who planted 30 million trees for the planet, his belief was immediately supported by his teacher.
The first tree symbolically planted in his school marks the beginning of a global movement. After the neighbouring schools, the whole country supports this brilliant initiative. Felix Finkbeiner, with the help of other motivated young people, created the “Plant for the Planet” foundation to spread the idea around the world.
The foundation consists of an administrative council of 14 children from 8 countries, with more than 100,000 children active in the field in more than 100 countries. A media campaign “Stop talking, start planting” also reinforced the movement.
A few years later, in 2010, a million trees were planted! The next year Plant for the Planet met a great success with the United Nations Environment Program transferring the responsibility for the “United Nations Billion Tree Campaign” to Plant for the Planet in the context of the United Nations Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa. Thus the youth-led NGO got the responsibility for feeding the 12 billion trees already planted under the aegis of the “United Nations Billion Tree Campaign”.
Currently, more than 14 billion trees have been planted. Faced with such a success, Félix sets a new goal: to reach the 1 000 billion trees planted by 2020. A non negligible objective since it could absorb a quarter of the CO2 emissions emitted by human activities.
Now 20 years old, Félix Finkbeiner, while at the same time studying in London, is continuing his environmental initiatives by organizing awareness training sessions on climate change among young people; encouraging people to plant trees for the planet. Following the training, children receive an ambassador’s certificate for climate justice, with the intention of spreading the information acquired around them. In view of the motivations of the new generation, the ecological transition should have a bright future ahead.