International Day of Biodiversity on 22 May raises awareness of the need to protect nature
To celebrate the United Nations International Day for Biodiversity on 22 May, Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer, is supporting projects across the world that are helping to raise awareness of the need to preserve the rich variety of all life on earth.
Airbus, in partnership with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), is working to encourage young people to engage with biodiversity, through participation in The Green Wave. An initiative designed to educate young people about the crucial role that biodiversity plays in our lives and our futures, The Green Wave encourages people at 10:00am on Sunday 22 May, to celebrate biodiversity by planting a tree or through other activities and to upload pictures of this online. The idea is to create a Green Wave of action passing through time zones around the world from east to west.
Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, said: “Throughout history engineers have been inspired by nature, and still today it continues to help create modern solutions to improve efficient flight. Airbus commits 80% of its R&D investment into pioneering innovative solutions for greener flight and sustainable aviation, and we are proud to give our ongoing support to the CBD and The Green Wave initiative to help preserve this natural source of inspiration”.
Airbus is mobilising its global network of more than 52,500 employees in their own communities, to help celebrate The Green Wave, including a day of celebrations at the company’s Family Day taking place at its Madrid site. In China, Airbus employees will work with local children in Yunnan Province to build a school garden together and in the UK, in support of the UN’s International Year of Forests this year, Airbus employees are taking part in an activity giving mini-orchards to local schools.
In addition, Airbus is encouraging airlines from around the world to get involved in this initiative, of which a number have so far committed to support The Green Wave in 2011 in their promotional material. Carriers include: Aegean Air, AeroUnion, Amsterdam Airlines, Emirates, EVA Airways Corporation, JAT Airways, Korean Air, Olympic Air, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International.
The Airbus Corporate Foundation is also supporting a number of localised biodiversity projects. In Germany, a schools project focusing on renewable energy generation; in Spain, an initiative to promote environmental education for sustainable development in schools; in the UK, a community project giving school children access to nature projects located near one of Airbus UK’s sites; and in the US, the Foundation is supporting a children’s education project at the Gulf Coast Exploreum.
CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf said: “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. As we enter the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, 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.”
For more information and to participate in The Green Wave on 22 May visit http://www.greenwave.cbd.int/. Alternatively you can visit The Green Wave Facebook page to share photos and stories (search ‘Pages’ for ‘Green Wave’).
Notes to editors
The Green Wave:
• Is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). 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 administered by the United Nations Environment Programme.
• On 22 May each year (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 http://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.