Taking action to preserve nature and future innovations
In the countdown to the United Nations International Day for Biodiversity on 22 May, leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus is mobilising its global network of more than 52,000 employees to celebrate The Green Wave, an ambitious programme established by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to encourage young people to engage with biodiversity.
As part of this worldwide initiative, the Airbus Corporate Foundation is set to launch a biodiversity volunteer programme that directly involves its employees with nature, endorsed by The Ministry of Environment, India. In association with Raleigh International, Airbus will announce the first employees selected from around the world to participate in a three-year biodiversity project in India.
Airbus teams will also be involved in a myriad of events with their local communities. From tree planting in Spain, Japan and Vietnam; to creating new gardens at the Airbus Innovation School in China; and encouraging wildlife to inhabit Airbus site areas in France.
In the UK, the Zoological Society of London will play host to the touring “See the Bigger Picture” biodiversity photo exhibition of photographs taken by children around the world, from a contest partnership between Airbus, the CBD Secretariat and National Geographic. Airbus employees will also join local schools and scientists taking part in the UK’s second annual “BioBlitz” - a 30 hour race against the clock to identify as many species of animals and plants as possible in one area.
In Germany, Airbus teams will be setting up hives for 100,000 bees at Finkerwerder Airport. Last year the bees produced 160 kg of honey - after 150,000 flights to 15 million flowers! Airbus teams are currently working on setting up a similar project in France.
Out of reach for even the longest-range Hamburg bee, Airbus Americas is partnering with the Explorium Museum in Mobile, Alabama to launch a biodiversity photography contest. The competition forms part of the build up to the forthcoming See The Bigger Picture exhibition, scheduled to visit Mobile as part of its international tour in September.
CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf said: “In this, The International Year of Biodiversity, it is vital that major global businesses such as Airbus support us in spreading awareness of the importance of protecting the rich biodiversity of the world we live in. I hope that Airbus’ work will inspire other businesses to work with us in raising awareness and developing sustainable solutions to protect life on earth.”
Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, said: “We already put a huge effort into tackling the 2% that aviation contributes to man made CO2 emissions. Our partnership with the CBD reflects our commitment to support those tackling the other 98%, such as the 17% from deforestation. Aeronautic engineers have been inspired by nature since the days of Leonardo da Vinci. Today, biomimicry continues to inspire solutions for greener flight. So we need to get better at learning from nature – it might just hold the key to our future as well as its own. That’s why we are using our global outreach to help the CBD raise awareness. I’m extremely proud that Airbus employees are playing their part in preserving it.”
To participate in The Green Wave on 21 or 22 May visit www.greenwave.cbd.int
and find out what is happening near you. Alternatively you can visit The Green Wave Facebook page to share photos and stories (search ‘Pages’ for ‘Green Wave’) or download a specially created Green Wave Twibbon for use on your Facebook or Twitter profile picture (search www.twibbon.com
for ‘The Green Wave’).
Notes to editors
The Green Wave:
- The CBD is a United Nations intergovernmental treaty, whose objectives are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the CBD is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme.
- 2010 is the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity. On 22 May 2010 (the International Day for Biodiversity), as part of The Green Wave initiative, young people are invited to plant a tree at 10:00 to celebrate biodiversity. This will create a wave of planting as the activity passes through each time zone across the world.
- Participants upload photos and stories to The Green Wave website that go live in the evening at 20:10 creating a virtual wave on the internet.
- Visit www.greenwave.cbd.int
to get involved.
- Airbus believes that growth in air travel is a global need and that the essential social and economic benefits derived from a more connected world can deliver a greener world, if everybody plays their part.
- Airbus acknowledges the 2% that aviation contributes to global man-made CO2 emissions, but believes that it also has a responsibility to support others in tackling the remaining 98% of CO2 emissions. Deforestation alone, for example, generates 17% of man-made CO2, so Airbus is working with the CBD and using its global outreach to raise awareness of the importance of the need to preserve the variety of life on earth.