World's youth ask Environment Ministers to protect life on earth

Thai kids hand over Treasure Chest to Environment Min. Praphat Panyachatrak.

Feature story - February 19, 2004
A delegation of Thai children met with Environment Minister Praphat Panyachatrak this morning asking him to act to protect life on earth by committing to strong measures to protect the world's forests and oceans.

"We have been working very hard to help you see how important this is for us," Anurak Koonlob from the province of Chumporn, Thailand addressed the Minister.

"There is no reason to deny support to what the Thai kids are asking. They are our next generation and we - and the kids - all have the obligation to protect our natural resources," said Environment Minister Praphat Panyachatrak.

About 30 Greenpeace youth from Thailand, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland arrived in Kuala Lumpur last week for the Summit for Life on Earth, the Seventh Convention of Parties meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They are representing thousands of young people from all around the world, active in Greenpeace's Kids for Forest project.

"We need you to come to an agreement to create more protected areas to maintain the variety of life on the planet before it is too late, " added Thadee Ayi, 19, from Cameroon. Ayi also urged the ministers to keep the promises made two years ago at the last meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in The Hague. "We have kept our promise to continue to fight for the forests and oceans, but unfortunately some governments have not."

The Kids for Forests were honoured with the presence of the Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, Honourable Dato' Seri Law Hieng Ding, Chairman of the Seventh Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The children presented the Malaysian Minister with his own personal "Ancient Forest and Ocean Treasure Chest", prepared by the international Kids for Forest team in Kuala Lumpur.

The Kids for Forests from the countries represented also met with the national ministers, presented their specific demands and gave them the "Ancient Forest and Ocean Treasure Chest" made by kids from their respective country.

As a final message, when all the ministers had received gifts from the Kids for forests, Ayi said: "Now the keys are in your hands -- do the right thing and protect life on earth!"