Bayer Young Environmental Field Trip 2008 - A Report by WhaYoung Cha, Korea
"Water knows no boundaries"
Dr. Ulrich Bornewasser, Head of Environmental Communications, Currenta GmbH. And what is true for water is true for the rest of the elements: air, soil and, unfortunately, neither do environmental issues. Problems on one side of the earth are just as much the issues of people on the other side of the planet. This was one of the key themes of the Bayer Young Environmental Field Trip which from November 2 to November 8, 2008 Bayer brought 50 people from 18 countries together.
A dozen lectures over five days were complemented with discussions and practical examples showing the efforts of German government, institutions, and private companies like Bayer to preserve the environment. WhaYoung Cha from Korea remarked: “At the field trip I was reminded of a debate I had at school, where we argued about who is to be blamed for all the environmental problems: the developed countries like Germany and Denmark or developing countries like China and India? Some claimed that the developed countries are hypocritical for attempting to educate the developing countries about the environment because they have already spoiled the environment. But what I found was that Germany, at least, was acknowledging its responsibility and was trying to share its technology to preserve the environment. So, it isn't just a question of who is to blame but of everybody needing to work together to find solutions.”
Envoys from 18 different countries gave presentations of the most pressing environmental issue of each country but at the same time making creative suggestions as how young people can tackle exactly those problems. The projects included making a TV program with the theme of environment, collecting thousands of plastic bottles for recycling and a street campaign to raise environmental awareness.
At times it can seem that one is powerless to prevent the damage being done to the environment. But as Mr. Satinder Bindra from UNEP stressed, young people account for about 47% of the world's population, can indeed have an effect. Explaining the meaning of TUNZA, the magazine published by UNEP, which means “to nurture with care and affection” in Kiswahili, he said that people should learn how to treat the planet with care and affection and that even small actions are important. At the end of the Field Trip WhaYoung Cha summed this up: “Perhaps my role, as an environmental envoy, should be encouraging my family and friend to join in those small actions.”