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Tree for Tree

Parador saupports Felix Finkbeiner and his iniative Plant-for-the-Planet

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Yet whilst his sister shrieks at the top of her voice, removing a hornet from her long hair, Felix remains unaffected. »Why don't we do what the climate researchers recommend? If we children do not act now, it will be too late!« 

 Despite his age, the young activist is totally self-sufficient and extraordinarily self-assured. After all, Felix Finkbeiner has been showered with prizes worldwide for his student initiative Plant-for-the-Planet, which he brought to life back in 2007. Grown-ups like Prince Albert of Monaco and Gisele Bündchen allow themselves to be photographed for the climate protection campaign »Stop talking. Start planting!«; Klaus Töpfer is patron of the organisation. Yet everything started in a very contemplative fashion: When Felix had to write a school project about global warming, he found information on the Internet about Wangari Maathai and her environmental protection organisation, Green Belt. She had planted more than thirty million trees in Kenya and other African countries in thirty years to counter the effects of deforestation and soil erosion. Inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize winner's idea, Felix concluded his paper with the words: »We children should plant a million trees in every country on earth!« As a result, he was sent by his school headmistress to other schools as part of a lecture tour on sustainability; an overwhelming number of children joined his appeal to plant trees and to demonstrate for climate justice. Children all over the world were soon founding their own initiatives, organised via the Internet and the young organisation's website, plant-for-the-planet.org. At conferences and children's academies in countries like China, Japan and South Korea, Norway, the USA, Mexico, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Austria and large parts of Africa, before the European Parliament and at the United Nations, Felix and his ambassadors promote climate justice.

»However, for us children it is not about making the countryside more beautiful!«

The tea has brewed long enough; the tea bag lands on a small compost heap after an assured throw. »We demand that adults finally stop deceiving us. For years at the climate conferences in December, at the G8 summits in summer, great climate protection targets have been repeatedly formulated. Yet we are still very far from implementing them. 30,000 children die of hunger every day in the poor countries of the world, whilst the grown-ups in the rich countries give off excess amounts of carbon dioxide. We have to stop this process!« Felix's plans for the future sound bold – yet they could be implementable none the less. Finkbeiner would like to found a worldwide children's party; global acts would ensure that the emission of harmful greenhouse gases is reduced to zero. »We are currently organising ourselves like the young demonstrators in the countries of the Arab world, and just like them we want to bring about a gentle revolution.« Oh yes, and together with his fellow campaigners he would also like to plant 1,000 billion trees, by the way. They have already managed 1.2%, in other words 12 billion trees, in the last five years. Parador is among those who are making sure that this huge figure is at least getting closer: For every assortment of the new Eco Balance flooring range that is sold, Parador will plant one tree together with Plant-for-the-Planet. Is Felix Finkbeiner not worried at all that powerful lobby groups and inert politicians could put an early end to his dream? »No worries,« Felix points to the hut ceiling. »That is the same as with our hornets: sometimes they fly towards you and you get in a bit of a panic. But they don't really do anything to you. And you should know this: apart from the queen they will not survive the winter.«

 

 

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