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Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:00

Carlos de Prada

Carlos de Prada

For more than 11 years, Carlos de Prada, a journalist, environmentalist and writer, has developed radio programmes, which have had a wide-ranging influence in Spain. He is considered one of the country's greatest advocates of nature conservation among those working in the media.

He is also an environmental columnist in El Mundo - one of the more influential newspapers in Spain. His articles have bravely exposed serious environmental crimes. Through his radio programmes, de Prada has provided valuable input to solve Spain's water problems by inviting dissident voices on his programmes, which were often silenced in other media more friendly to the establishment. His programmes helped stop the 1993 proposal of Spain's water plan, which was based on the construction of grandiose hydro power works. He has campaigned against numerous projects to build dozens of dams that would have caused serious social and environmental damage. He helped save areas such as Cabaneros, (which is today a national park in the Spanish Mediterranean forest), where the Spanish and OTAN Air Force had planned to set up a dive bombing area. He was instrumental in saving Donana National Park, which had been threatened by a major urbanization plan. His work has also dealt with issues such as waste, clean energy production, biological diversity, forest fires, pollution and the preservation of ecosystems.

He is a founding member of the Association for the Recovery of Autochthonous Fauna, whose aim is the recovery of specimen of threatened species and their reintroduction into their natural habitat. De Prada is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Award for the Environment (1997), the City Council of Madrid Environment Prize (1994), the Castilla y Leon Award for Nature Conservation (1998) and the Friends of the Earth Award (1995).

Tuesday, 26 April 2011 16:09

Conservation Volunteers Australia

The Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers (ATCV), founded in 1982, is a national, not-for-profit community organization, whose mission is to attract and manage a force of volunteers in practical conservation projects for the betterment of the Australian environment.

ATCV completes more than 4000 week-long conservation projects in urban, regional and remote areas of Australia each year. Activities range from bush regeneration, tree planting, seed collection, endangered species protection, weed control, flora and fauna surveys, walking trail construction, fencing, environmental monitoring and the protection of world heritage areas.

ATCV community participation has resulted in more than 1.8 million trees being planted in 1999, and in more than 7.3 million trees planted over the past 10 years. Community involvement totalled 200,000 project days in 1999 and more than 700,000 days since 1989.

To encourage the involvement of young people, ATCV developed and manages the federal government-funded programme Green Corps. Green Corps is a six-month traineeship for 17 to 20 year-olds, which incorporates conservation projects and accredited training. Since 1997, more than 4,000 trainees have completed the Green Corps programme.

ATCV is a founding member of the International Conservation Alliance, which brings together organizations working in conservation volunteering, and is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Tuesday, 26 April 2011 14:15


"We bet that we can achieve the Government's climate protection target at our schools within seven months, instead of the seven-year period the Government has set for itself". This was the bet put to the Federal Minister of Environment in Germany by the members of BUNDjugend, the youth branch of the Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation. A bet the Minister accepted with pleasure.

Between May and November 1999, the pupils aimed to save 10 million kg of carbon dioxide, i.e. 10% of the total emissions of their schools. They planned to reach their goal by turning down the heating, airing buildings for short intervals rather than continuously, using energy-saving light bulbs and reducing water consumption.

Some schools went further by developing activities in the transport sector and in waste separation and avoidance. Some pupils even installed solar panels, laid out school gardens and covered school buildings with greenery. Younger pupils encouraged their families and friends to get involved in climate protection. The older pupils focused on technical approaches.

The Federal Environmental Agency acted as judge and reviewed the results from 20 schools selected at random. Using these results to project those from the 192 participating schools, it determined that the challenger, BUNDjugend, and the 135,000 pupils involved had indeed won the bet. As a result, the German Government, as promised, invited the winner to a big party in Bonn on 17 September 1999. The BUNDjugend initiative can act as a model for future activities involving environmental awareness and education in schools.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011 02:39

Globetree Foundation

Since its founding in 1982, by Ben van Bronkhorst and Kajsa Dahlstrom, Globetree has worked tirelessly to unite children in caring for their world. Globetree uses theatre and drama as its tools and has science and technology as its platform. Globetree uses the creative impulse to mobilize children and teachers to improve life and the environment.

Globetree's achievements include: curriculum development in Bolivia; ecological parks in Brazil; a university technology center in Indonesia; environmental education and technology in Kenya; GlobetreeNet (a network of children's advocates); GlobetreeTheatre; and GlobeEye (sound, picture and film archive).

When Globetree hosted a meeting of 600 children in Stockholm in 1986 to discuss environmental concerns, water was found to be their common bond. In the ensuing years, Globetree hosted the 'Sharing Water Ceremony' in Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Norway and the Netherlands, and at the 1992 World Summit on Children at the UN in New York. These ceremonies culminated in Globetree's sponsorship of 5,000 young people from 70 countries in the Globe Arena in Stockholm on UN day - 24 October 1998. Their mission was to incorporate Agenda 21 into a group vision of a safe and healed earth, which they called Future Vessel.

For the first time in the history of global environmental activity, 200 computers linked the gathered participants with students from around the world. To symbolize their unity, the participants co-mingled water from their countries in a crystal bowl. Since then, 30 more countries have contributed water to this bowl.

Sadly, founder van Bronkhorst died three months before his Future Vessel vision was realized.

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