Logo of Plant-for-the-Planet
|Formation||January 1, 2007|
|Purpose/focus||Awareness and Actions for Climate Justice|
|Official languages||English, German and Spanish|
|President of Youth Board||Mohammed Rabiu Ghana|
|President of Children Board||Kehkashan Basu United Arab Emirates|
Plant-for-the-Planet is a children’s initiative that aims to raise awareness amongst children and adults about the issues of climate change and global justice. The Initiative also works to plant trees, and considers this to be both a practical and symbolic action in efforts to reduce the effect of climate change. In 2011, it reached a goal of planting a million trees.
The idea for Plant-for-the-Planet was first developed in Germany in 2007 by a nine year old boy called Felix Finkbeiner. It was when Felix’s teacher set the assignment to prepare a school report about the issue of climate change, that Felix was first inspired. While conducting his research he came across the story of Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Kenya who had worked to plant over 30 million trees across Africa as part of her 'Green Belt Movement'. At the end of Felix's presentation he shared the idea that the children of the world could plant 1 million trees in every country on Earth. On the 28th of March 2007 the first tree was planted in Felix’s school, thus marking the official launch of Plant-for-the-Planet. Students in Bavaria and across Germany also got involved and continued to plant trees under the initiatives name. Colin Mummert helped spearhead the Munich campaign for Plant for the Planet. After one year 150,000 trees had already been planted and in 2008 Felix was able to reach a larger audience after he was elected to the UNEP children’s board during the International UNEP Children’s Conference in Norway.
Since its creation in 2007 the organisation effectively developed into a worldwide movement. In August 2009 when Felix spoke at the UNEP Tunza Children and Youth Conference in Daejeon, South Korea. Here he promoted Plant-for-the-Planet and was able to gain support from children all around the world, who also promised to plant the 1 million trees in their own countries. Participants from Plant-for-the-Planet see each tree as a contribution towards environmental and climate protection. They also consider each tree to be an action for social justice. This organisation sees that it is most often the developing countries that suffer the most from the effects of climate change, despite the fact that they have most often done the least to cause it. It is for this reason Plant-for-the-Planet considers each tree to also be a symbol for climate justice. By the start of 2011 there were children participating in more than 93 countries. As this organisation has grown so has its main goal. As of 2011 the children have achieved their goal of planting a total of 1 million trees around the world.
Plant-For-The Planet Initiative is led by the Children and Youth Boards. The children board of the organization was elected democratically for the first time in 2011. Youth Board was formed since the Election in April 2012. With a democratic structure, children and youth in plant for the planet elect their leaders every year.
- President of Youth Global Board [2013/14] - Mohammed Rabiu, [Elected]
- President of Children Global Board [2013/14] - Kehkashan Basu, [Elected]
- President of Youth Global Board [2012/13] - Sagar Aryal, [Elected]
- President of Children Global Board [2012/13] - Shanisse Tsai, [Elected]
- President [2011/12] - Felix Finkbeiner [Elected]
- President [2007/11] - Felix Finkbeiner [Founder]
Through this organisation tree planting activities or “parties” are organised by students and children themselves. i.e. the students need to find foresters and environmental organisation to supply seedlings, and show them how, where, and when to plant. The funding needed to plant trees comes from individual and corporate donations. Plant-for-the-Planet promises to plant one tree for every Euro donated. The organisation also has a system of independent auditors to guarantee that the correct number of trees have been planted. Trees are generally planted by partner organisations in southern countries, for example "Trees for People" in Namibia.
Plant for the Planet Academies
Plant-for-the-Planet also offers educational training days that they call Academies. In these Academies, children who have already been trained in previous Academies, give speeches to a new group of children to teach them about the climate crisis and train them as “Ambassadors for Climate Justice”. Through group work and presentations the children are taught about climate justice and they also learn how to prepare and present these ideas to others in a confident and exciting way. As Ambassadors for Climate Justice, these children then have the knowledge and tools to further educate their friends, schools and families about Plant-for-the-Planet. Children also learn how to organise a tree planting event and following an Academy can start their own tree planting activities. A Plant-for-the-Planet Academy typically runs over the course of 1 day and participation is free.
The children of Plant-for-the-Planet do have support from adults: Professor Klaus Töpfer is a patron of the organisation. The AVINA Foundation, the Club of Rome and the Global Marshall Plan all offer administrative support to the organisation. Develey, Ernst & Young, Hess Natur and Toyota also provide financial support.
In February 2010 a Plant-for-the-Planet Children’s Foundation was established. The function of this foundation is to facilitate cooperation with partners in order to coordinate and support the work and activities of the children. This foundation is also intended to relieve the Global Marshall plan, who were previously acting as secretariat.
The Campaign “Stop Talking. Start Planting.”
On the 21st of September 2009, during the UN General Assembly in New York, the global campaign "Stop Talking. Start Planting." was first initiated. The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness amongst children and adults about climate change and to encourage affirmative action. To summarise the slogan, the campaign posters show Ambassadors for Climate Justice holding their hands in front of the mouths of prominent community members. Celebrities who have supported this campaign include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Wangari Maathai, Peter Maffay, Gisele Bündchen, Hans Küng, Mary Robinson, Princess Haya of Jordan, Gesine Schwan, Achim Steiner, Oliver Kalkofe, Felipe from Spain and many more.
On the 8th of October 2010 the “Stop Talking. Start Planting.” campaign received an EFFIE in the category of Social National/International. Awards are given to charitable organisations and initiatives each year for the use of effective social marketing and communication campaigns.
- Billion Tree Campaign
- Global Marshall Plan
- Climate Reality Project
- Climate justice
- Climate crisis
- Harry de Quetteville (April 29, 2011). "The 13-year-old who has the world planting trees". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Financial report (German)
- Partner and Sponsor of the Initiative (German)
- EFFIE-Award (German)