“Environmental Envoys” from 17 Countries Visit Bayer
Having arrived on Sunday, fifty Young Environmental Envoys from seventeen countries on four continents are spending a week at the invitation of Bayer in Leverkusen, Germany, to find out about developments in and prospects for environmental protection and sustainable development. The young people invited to take part in the field trip to Leverkusen were selected from a good 1,000 participants on the basis of the environmental projects they presented in special competitions organized by Bayer in their home countries.
Welcoming them during a Group Press Conference on the Bayer Climate Program, Werner Wenning, Chairman of the Board of Management, said: “We are delighted that you will be our guests this week in Germany and hope that you gain as many ideas and as much information as possible to help you with your environmental commitment at home.”
The Bayer Climate Program pools a large number of measures the company is applying in the coming years to drive forward its climate protection efforts and identify approaches for dealing with the consequences of climate change. A particular highlight for the Young Environmental Envoys was the chance they had to attend the Press Conference and the subsequent workshops right at the beginning of their visit.
The Young Environmental Envoy Program, which Bayer started in Asia in 1998, is one of the key elements in an alliance between Bayer and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on environmental education programs for young people. The program focuses primarily on the world’s fast-growing emerging economies. Originally introduced in Thailand, the concept was subsequently extended to India, China, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Poland and Kenya. This year for the first time, the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Program includes young people from Turkey.
So far, some 7,000 young people have applied for a place on the program and almost 350 have been invited to visit Germany.
The study trip gives young people from around the world an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the principles and practice of modern environmental protection in Germany. The Young Environmental Envoys visit various Bayer sites and talk there to experts on the environment. The program also includes excursions to the North Rhine-Westphalia State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection and AVEA, a waste processing and disposal facility in Leverkusen. The aim is to give young people a fuller understanding of what role industry, authorities and private households play in the field of environmental protection and how they interact. A number of round-table discussions will also take place during the study trip. The main focus here is on fostering an international exchange of ideas between the young people.
When the Young Environmental Envoys return home they will help to raise awareness of sustainable development in their local communities by passing on the impressions, experience and insights they have gained. Many former participants in this Bayer initiative now have jobs where they play a key role in environmental protection in their home countries.
More information on the partnership between Bayer and UNEP is available at www.unep.bayer.com.
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