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Youths Help Fight Against Climate Change
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Five Chinese youths with outstanding records in environmental protection are attending a four-day meeting in Leverkusen, Germany, to exchange views and experiences with their counterparts from 85 countries.

The TUNZA International Youth Conference organized by UNEP and Germany-based Bayer AG has attracted 180 participants aged between 15 and 24. The youths will exchange ideas on "Technology in Service of the Environment".

TUNZA means "to treat with care or affection" in Kiswahili, a sub-regional language of Eastern Africa.

During their stay in Germany, the youths will get the chance to know more about renewable energy facilities, grassroots actions to fight climate change, rapeseed oil mills and local urban refuse treatment plants.

Wang Fengzhu, one of five Chinese youths and a sophomore from Huazhong Agricultural University, said: "Through the meetings, I hope I can establish my activity network for environmental protection with youths of other countries, who can provide me with varied ideas from their backgrounds."

"It is also a good chance for Chinese youths to get to know German advanced technologies in environmental protection. That will broaden our horizon," she said.

Wang is a member of her university's green group and a wetlands envoy with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in China.

At the conference's opening ceremony on Monday, German Environmental Minister Sigma Gabriel said: "The world's environmental issues cannot be addressed without China's cooperation."

Gabriel expects to enhance the cooperation with China to improve the environment across the world.

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said: "I hope the 180 young people will return to their communities and nations becoming beacons of activities and motivators for many others to play a part in meeting environmental challenges."

He expects the Chinese students to be especially solution-oriented in tackling environmental problems during interaction with delegates from other countries.

A new three-year cooperation contract between UNEP and Bayer AG to continue strengthening environmental awareness among the youth was singed at the opening ceremony. As part of the agreement, Bayer will support UNEP with its programs and a yearly fund of 1.2 million euros.

(China Daily August 28, 2007)

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