The Green Wave for Biodiversity
22 May 2009 - On the International Day for Biological Diversity in 2008, a ripple was started that's turning into a wave around the world: the Green Wave for biodiversity.
The Green Wave is a project designed to support the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the world's international treaty that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from genetic resources.
The project aims to help raise awareness and educate young people - tomorrow's leaders and citizens - on the loss of biodiversity that's taking place across the world and the need to take action to preserve life on Earth.
The "wave" takes place on the International Day for Biodiversity which, this year, brings attention to the problem of invasive alien species brought into a place by careless human activities and one of the biggest threats to local biodiversity worldwide. Through The Green Wave, children and youth in schools across the world have been learning about this and planting native trees!
Each year on the 22 May, in participating schools around the world, children and youth plant a tree at 10:00 am local time, creating a "green wave" across time-zones. Participants upload photos and text to The Green Wave website to share their stories with others. An interactive map goes live in the evening at 20:10 local time, creating a second, virtual, "green wave".
The Green Wave arose from an idea of staff working at the German Agency for Nature Conservation and the Office of Environmental Response and Coordination of the Republic of Palau, the island nation in the Pacific.
It was launched by the German Minister of Environment in Bonn in May 2008 and by over 60 groups of children and youth in 19 countries.
From his base in Bonn, Jochen Flasbarth, Germany's Director-General of Nature Conservation in the Ministry of Environment said, "We're delighted that The Green Wave is gaining attention and participation all around the world. What started as a simple and small idea is growing branches and roots across the globe that will help spread awareness of the importance of the Earth's biodiversity and the need for all of us to take action to halt its loss and to cherish and nurture the diversity of life."
Since it started just a year ago, the Convention's Secretariat in Montreal has been promoting the project, and the little wave has grown. There's been growing interest, support and action from all kinds of places.