|Tunza Conference Kicks off in Leverkusen, Germany
Participants participating in a discussion
A new logo(Current Tunza logo) for the youth and children activities of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was presented during celebrations marking the opening of the “Tunza International Youth Conference” in Leverkusen. The logo depicts the four elements (fire, earth, water and air) within a circle symbolizing the Earth. The word “Tunza”, the slogan of UNEP’s programs for youth and children, also appears in the logo. The word comes from the East African language Kiswahili and means: “To treat with care and affection”.
The new Tunza song, “Time for Action”, was also performed for the first time at the opening ceremony. The logo and the song were specially created by Bayer for this event.
“We welcome our partner Bayer’s commitment,” said Eric Falt, UNEP Communications Director. “The logo is a magnificent symbol of passion of the environment and diversity, both of which are key values for UNEP. It will be the new symbol for all our activities involving young people and children.
It's time to work together for a sustainable world," said Eric Falt, UNEP Communications Director, who, together with the German actress Minh-Khai Phan-Thi, acted as master of ceremonies. After the performance by the Theater Mobilé group, Werner Wenning welcomed the participants. "You are the decision-makers of tomorrow," he said, adding: "I have great respect for your commitment." He announced that Bayer is to support the United Nations Environment Programme for a further three years; the agreement was signed at the subsequent press conference.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner noted that the alleged contradiction between economics and sustainability would soon be considered a myth of the past. "You are part of a major transformation," he said to the participants. "We believe you can make the difference."
Jürgen Rüttgers, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, also wanted to motivate the audience: "If we continue along this road, a climate disaster is inevitable. Innovation is necessary to prevent further damage. We need people like yourselves to develop new solutions for the future."
The last speaker was Sigmar Gabriel, German Minister for the Environment, who spoke on the theme of the Conference, "Technology in the Service of Environment". "It is possible to be both commercially successful and environmentally committed," he said, adding that in view of the expected population surge there was no alternative. "We need technological solutions," declared Gabriel. Companies like Bayer show that environment and industry are not contradictions, he said.
After video messages by the German pop band Silbermond, the Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai, the star pianist Lang Lang and former German soccer player and national coach Rudi Völler, the new Tunza logo was presented in a special ceremony - a circle divided into four parts symbolizing the elements air, water, fire and nature.
"The logo is a symbol of diversity and the environment," said Eric Falt enthusiastically. Passion was also expressed in the Tunza song: "It's the time for action", was composed for this event and performed for the first time at the end of the ceremony.
At Bayer's Baykomm Communications Centre, Tunza delegates summarized their own projects in a quick world tour of environmental activities ranging from improving waste management in Indonesia and renaturing landfills in Seoul to visionary proposals for solar power. The first presenter, Vania Santoso from Indonesia, said: "I am proud and happy to be able to present my project."
The delegates reported on what they are already doing and what could still be done to help the environment. "We all share one concern - our own planet," said special guest and astronaut Dr. Gerhard Thiele, who took part in a Space Shuttle Mission in 2000. He made a very personal statement on how precious our planet appears from the perspective of a space shuttle. His favourite photo from the mission shows the atmosphere of the Earth "as a wafer-thin layer separating us from the Universe". "You can only sense how thin this layer actually is if you see it from the outside," Thiele said. This moving lecture concluded an eventful day.
1.Young Environmentalists to Discuss How Technology Can Harness the Gifts of Nature - Nairobi 24 August 2007
2.New Voices of Youth - Nairobi/Leverkusen 30 August 2007
-TUNZA -Time for Action Song lyrics
- Tunza Hi-Res Logo