The power of reforestation: An interview with Felix Finkbeiner from Plant-for-the-Planet

In 2007, 9-year-old Felix Finkbeiner founded the organization Plant-for-the-Planet and his goal became to plant as many trees as he could to advocate for climate mitigation. Only three years later, the organization celebrated with planting their one millionth tree. The slogan ‘Stop Talking, Start Planting’ became a social media success as young people all around the world drew attention to the importance of planting trees. In 2011 the UN General Assembly handed the Trillion Tree Campaign to Plant-for-the-Planet. The world currently has three trillion trees and can host a trillion more. Trees are powerful in combating climate change, so the Trillion Trees Campaign is important in buying time to reduce CO2 emissions. Partner organizations all around the world are committed to this campaign and until now 14 billion trees in over 130 countries have been planted. The aim is to repopulate areas with trees and to work towards a carbon neutral world. Restoring deforested areas and allowing for forests to take back its natural habitat. 

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Inspiring environmental policy change in Kenya : An interview with the FlipFlopi Project

The FlipFlopi Project began in 2016 when Kenyan tour operators Ben Morrison and Dipesh Pabari, along with boat craftsman Ali Skanda, built a Dhow using 9 tonnes of plastic waste collected from local beaches. The purpose of this invention was to raise awareness about the detriments of single use plastic (SUP) waste on the marine ecosystem and the wellbeing of civilians in coastal Kenya. In 2019, the project launched a 14 day expedition, with the support of UNEP’s Clean Sea’s Initiative, in which the Dhow sailed across the East African coast and hosted various events in local communities in Kenya and Tanzania to raise awareness of SUP’s. As a result, the project became a platform for environmental activism and triggered Africa’s “blue planet moment”  , catalyzing policy discourse on the circular economy movement across Africa. Currently, the project runs a few innovation hubs and circular economy start-ups, and engages with international policy platforms (most notably UNEP) to advocate for progressive environmental policy in East Africa. 

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Perceptions and Realities of Migrants in Southern Italy

Migration has become a highly debated and fairly misunderstood topic in contemporary politics. While taking part in the European ARISE project (Analysing Refugee Inclusion in Southern Europe) in Southern Italy, I met Hamady, a migrant from Senegal. Whilst telling me about his own perspective on migration, he explained that if you have not ‘witnessed it’ you are unable to fully comprehend it. This is why he believes in the importance of recounting his own experience to sensitise the general public on the issue. ‘It is part of the integration process’, he says. 

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