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“We don’t trust your words anymore. You’re destroying our future!” These words were spoken by Felix Finkbeiner, a 12-year-old boy from Paehl, in Bavaria, Germany who established Plant for the Planet, a global climate protection network for school-age children when he was 9-years-old.  You can read about Plant for the Planet here –

On 2nd February 2011 Felix Finkbeiner addressed the UN for the Inauguration of the International Year of Forests.  I have highlighted parts of his speech as I think it is good for adults to know what children think about the future we are leaving them.

  • …. for us children forests are not only the livelihoods of billions, but for us children forests are our future.

  • …. 30,000 children dying of starvation every single day in an incredible rich world.

  • …. one small part, the rich part of the world exhausting the most of the CO2 & the poor part of the world, the one’s that already suffer, will suffer even more in the future.

  • We children understand that the adults know everything about these crises. But we children don’t understand why there is so little action.

  • For most adults future seems to mean 20, 30 or even 40 years. But for us children 2100 is still in our lifetime.

  • For adults it’s an academic question if the sea level will rise for 1, 2 or 3 metres or 7 meters until the end of this century. But for many of us children it is a question of survival.

  • Many adults seem to hide behind the climate skeptics, the ones that say there is no climate crisis.

  • If we follow the scientists that tell us there is a crisis & if we act & in 20 years we find out that they were wrong, then we didn’t do any mistake. But if we follow the skeptics & don’t do anything & in 20 years we will find out that they were wrong it is too late for us to save our future.

  • …. we cannot trust that the adults alone will save our future. We have to take our future in our own hands.

  • We have to protect the already existing forest. … to keep the rainforests from disappearing.

  • …. we have to plant trees.  We children think that we can manage to plant a trillion trees in 10 years.

  • …. a trillion trees is only 150 trees per person. We can manage.

  • Stop talking. Start planting.

  • We children are the majority on this world.

  • One mosquito cannot do anything against a rhino, but a thousand mosquitoes can make a rhino to change its direction.

You can download the whole speech here –

Strathfield Council has created bush habitat along the Cooks River at Strathfield. The pathway is just visible on the bottom left of the photo


The City of San Antonio intends to increase the tree canopy from 38% to 40%. This means they will have to plant another 450,000 trees. Over 2 hours last Saturday, they handed out 330 free fruit & nut trees to the local community.

Camphor laurel in Stanmore

Developers in the City of San Antonio who chop down trees have to pay money to do so. The money is put into a fund that pays for new trees to be planted & paid for the 330 trees that were given free to the community.

What a brilliant idea.  Tree removal in developments is quite substantial in this LGA. I don’t know if developers have to pay a fee to Marrickville Council for removing trees.  From what I can work out, the developer is told by Council to replace the trees if possible in landscaping. However, often the species that are chosen do not equal to what was removed in terms of size & potential CO2 sequestration.

I like this idea of developers paying a fee to remove trees, but think both could happen.  Developers could still be required to replace trees as much as possible with the landscaping as well as pay a fee that goes into a tree planting fund for the whole LGA.  In past decades it must have been hard for Councils to match tree replacement with the tree removal on private land.

Along with the free tree, the City of San Antonio also gave out information where residents could get a $50 rebate from the energy company for planting the tree.  Essentially, they were paid $50 to plant the free tree – fantastic.  Last weekend at least 330 new trees were planted on private land across San Antonio.  I doubt this kind of statistic is matched during any other weekend of the year.


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