Arts and Music Festival for Ancient Forests becomes new attraction on Children's Day

Thai children now part of global kids' network protecting world's ancient forests

Feature story - January 10, 2004
Children's Day is normally about toys, balloons and candy for kids. This year, however, Thai children had more than just fun.

Greenpeace today officially launched its "Kids for Forests" project which gives children the opportunity to protect the world's remaining ancient forests. Amidst the fanfare of games, concerts and paintings at the Arts and Music Festival for Ancient Forests, children signed up as volunteers to become part of the global network of kids determined to stop the destruction of ancient forests.

"Young people all over the world are standing up for our planet's last ancient forests, and Thai children should be given the opportunity to be a part of this movement. Kids care for their environment and their future," said Jiragorn Gajaseni, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

There are seven big intact ancient forests: the Paradise Forests of Asia-Pacific which stretches from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea, Amazon rainforest, African forest of the Great Apes, the snow forests of Asian Russia, the ancient forests of North America, the last ancient forests of Europe, and the temperate jungle of South America.

However, over 80 percent of the ancient forests originally in existence have already been destroyed.

"These forests are treasure chests of the Earth because a huge number of animals and plants live in them. Many parts of these forests are being destroyed. We need to put these treasure chests of the Earth under full protection," Jiragorn added as he unveiled a treasure chest adorned with artwork and handicraft depicting forest animals and plants. Once filled with children's forest artwork, this treasure chest will be delivered by Kids for Forests members to the UN Conference on Bio-Diversity in Kuala Lumpur in February to ask policymakers to protect what remains of the world's ancient forests.

Kids for Forests is currently active in more than 15 different countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America where young people actively campaign for the protection of the Earth's last ancient forests. Thai children and youth, aged 12-20, are invited to volunteer and join the Kids for Forests network.