A magical fable about a young boy who discovers the solution to global warming from a monk in the Himalayas has been adopted by the UN as part of its initiative to green the planet and stop Global Warming.
The fable, a documentary by Mumbai-based filmmaker Nitin Das, has become part of the international body’s worldwide campaign to plant trees.The 7-minute film finds itself part of the ‘Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign’ that encourages people, communities, civil society organisations and governments to plant trees aiming for a total of one billion trees worldwide each year.
"The video advocates for tree planting. We explored whether there was any hidden political or other message and when we were assured we uploaded it on our website," Meryem C. Amar, Information Officer United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) told a news agency.
The initiative has been well received by countries with nine NGOs and several government organisations including the state government of Uttar Pradesh participating."India is doing very well. We have employees of several public service organisations giving up a full day’s salary to buy seedlings to plant trees," says Meryem Amar.
Since the launch of the Billion Tree Campaign in January last year, close to two billion trees have been planted around the globe.Along with a focus on tree planting, the campaign also highlights the importance of voluntary action by all sectors of society to address issues such as climate change, air quality and water, among others.
"We advocate planting of indigenous trees that has the highest per cent rate of growth. We encourage them to plant trees that are in sync with the local climate."
"Our core campaign is to revive the biodiversity of the area. So while we do not say yes to eucalyptus and jatropha and pine, all plant species that drain water and resources, we appreciate medicinal plants," adds Amar.
Meanwhile the film by Das, portrays the journey undertaken by a small boy in a tiny Himalayan village who is entrusted by his chieftain to seek solution to the problems of sudden food shortage and climate change in his once prosperous and happy village.
The boy trudges up mountains and journeys to an old sage at the top of the mountain who hands over a fistful of seeds to him with the counsel that planting them will restore the lost peace and happiness of his village.
Backed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai and the Prince of Monaco the campaign encourages all sectors of society – from the concerned citizen to philanthropic corporations – to pledge and plant trees.
"We have people from the slum dwellers to the Presidents of Maldives and Mexico. Actor Amitabh Bachchan is also lending his name to the campaign. More than superstars and celebrities we want everyone from local farmers to anybody to participate."
"They can plant it on any occasion say weddings or any other social function," says Amar.
Along with a focus on tree planting and deforestation, the campaign also highlights the importance of voluntary collective action to address issues such as climate change, ozone layer protection and the Montreal Protocol, air quality and integrated water management, among others.