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January 11, 2013

Academy in The Middle Kingdom

For Guilin, the 31st December 2011 was dedicated entirely to climate protection in China. Along with Guilin’s tourist information office and China Tours, Plant-for-the-Planet organised an academy training young Chinese children between the ages 8 to 12 as ambassadors for climate justice, as well as Andreas Flück, the director of China Tours’ Product Management. Armed with spades and watering cans, they planted trees, before which the programme featured brief discussions and lectures on protecting the climate in China.

The day began with a welcome from Mr. Wie Xiang, the marketing chief of the tourist information office. 30 pupils from 5 different classes eagerly awaited the coming day. The curiosity was written all over their faces. First, Anting Liu, Plant-for-the-Planet Climate Justice Ambassador from Germany and member of the Global Board informed the children on Planet-for-the-Planet’s vision “Stop talking – Start planting”. How great it sounded in English! But what’s really behind all this? What can we ourselves do about climate change? And what are the consequences? These and many more questions were clarified in an intensive question and answer session. The Chinese kids seemed extremely concerned and were bubbling overenthusiastically.

Mr. Chen Hong, who’s responsible for protection of the environment in Guilin’s tourist information office, covered the current proposals and measures been taken in and around Gullin. The break was used to address climate change and Plant-for-the-Planet in more detail. The posters were studied inquisitively and product manager Andreas Flück was bombarded with numerous questions, the main purpose of the questions from these young motivated Chinese kids – to try out their English on a lǎowài (or foreigner)! The Plant-for-the-Planet “World Game” served as a much needed diversion: a big map, which illustrates the distribution of CO2 emissions and the world’s financial resources in relation to the world population. First the future ambassadors had to assess by themselves, with obvious outcomes. Clearly the Middle Kingdom still has some catching up to do. So let’s roll our sleeves up and get stuck in. Let’s get hands-on ourselves.

Now it was the pupils turn to act. They eagerly grasped the lectures and practised communicating the Plant-for-the-Planet’s vision for the world, first to their peers at their own school. Then as goes the motto “Stop talking – start planting”, the tree planting began. A day full of good deeds, which at end of, 30 school kids were rewarded with certificates declaring them official Climate Justice Ambassadors. We look forward to further academies in China and empower many more Chinese children to become Climate Justice Ambassadors.

Photos: China Tours


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