We children have the goal to plant one million trees in each country of the world. Therefore we are planting trees by ourselves at home and we collect donations to plant trees in other countries. Each tree is a symbol for Climate Justice. 130 children have promised already to plant one million in their countries (pictured one of the child ambassadors for their Plant the Planet Trillion Tree project with Mary Robinson, former UN Commissioner for Human Rights, now leading the Mary Robinson Climate Justice Foundation).
Today is the start of Ireland’s national Tree Week Mar 6-12, 2011. You can organise something in your community by downloading the poster here. National Tree Week in Ireland has always been a small enough affair though hopefully this year being the UN designated International Year of the Forest more attention will be paid to forests vital role for our atmosphere, our waterways, biodiversity, local economies and livelihoods of so many of the world’s peoples.
For my own part I submitted a couple of my short films to the UN organised global Forest Film competition. ‘The UN Forest Film Festival is a key part of the UN’s 2011 outreach efforts, and will enable to raise global awareness of the importance of forests, their relationship with people and the planet we share, and consequently, to inspire a sense of personal responsibility and stewardship for a greener, more equitable, sustainable future’. Films were submitted from around the world and the best, mostly big production blue-chip documentaries, were screened at the launch of this years International Year of the Forest launch at the UN Headquarters. A really great thing is there is now a PDF listing of all the forest films submitted and anyone in the world can see the list, contact the filmmakers and show the films in their own area. Celebrate the Year of the Forest by hosting an International Forest Film Festival in your neighborhood. For more information, email Leslie Goodyear, Leslie@jhfestival.org.
However, while some of these films were shown at the official launch of 2011 UN international Year of the Forest something special happened when 11 year old Felix and his friends stole the limelight with a passionate speech and ambitious project to get the world to plant a Trillion Trees this year!! While Yann Arthus-Bertrand‘s new 7 min narrated documentary showed beautifully composed helicopter shots of faraway forests aimed to engage viewers (including shots of NZ’s great non-deciduous beech forests) young Felix, with his pleas for us all to remember that he and his companions will be living in the future of a largely and dangerously un-forested world, caught my attention more. I think the posters of his Plant the Planet -Trees for Climate Justice are great too- there is such a sense of urgency that action for forests needs to happen in much more rapid ways. All of Felix’s posters for example – show him and his fellow children putting their hands over leaders mouths, effectively showing that we should all stop talking and start planting. Felix also has a great social media campaign too engage global audiences http://www.plant-for-the-planet.org, check out his site, his social media links and forward to your friends this week!
If you can’t plant trees this week consider donating to Felix’s global effort here – its a great resource site that can inspire us all, particularly for schools. Also, spring is just around the corner and I’ve noticed that there is a great Irish State forest website listing each counties forests walks (with Google maps to download) and new forest bicycle tracks. So get out and enjoy while remembering our forests importance for Felix’s generation. By the way, if you are interested in learning all about transforming conifer plantations into permament Close to Nature managed forests, ProSilva Ireland is having its first 2011 Forest Open Day in Lismore Sat 16 April 2011, with visiting Hungarian Close to Nature foresters, see details here