Felix Finkbeiner, from Pöcking, Germany, has created a global network of child environmental activists who are well on their way to reforesting the planet.
Plant for the Planet, founded in 2007, when Felix was 9 years old, is now 100,000 child activists strong. A class assignment about the climate crisis lead Felix to the legacy of Wangari Maathai, who planted 30 million trees in Africa. Her extraordinary accomplishment sparked his dream that if children would plant one million trees in each country of the world they could mitigate climate change.
Felix’s climate crisis class presentation was the kickoff of a remarkable journey. He gave his presentation to the student council, and was soon speaking to other classes and other schools. Soon his first tree, a crab apple, was planted at his school. The project gained momentum and with his parent’s blessing, Felix took the bold step, uncharacteristic of a 9 year old, of asking Toyota for an investment, so he could hire an employee. With Toyota’s backing, his reach and speaking audiences grew. Other schools started tree-planting programs under his Plant for the Planet umbrella.
A year later, Felix’s groups had planted 50,000 trees. In 2008 he also attended the UN Children’s Conference in Norway, was elected to the junior board of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and addressed the European Parliament!
At the 2009 UNEP conference in South Korea he invited other nations to start their own Plant for the Planet academies. Today, Plant for the Planet is planting trees and fighting climate change in 131 nations, receiving individual and corporate donations to cover costs.
In 2010, Felix achieved his goal of planting a million trees in Germany – in just three years. Over 4 million trees have been planted by the Plant for the Planet since Felix’s first crab apple tree was planted in Pöcking.
For More Information:
Read Felix’s e-book, Tree by Tree