L’EST REPUBLICAIN, 17th September 2002 – Translated from French by Ana Mattarollo
Popularizing sustainable development Three young men will dedicate one year to discovering the world in the service of the Earth’s future. Three French ex-school mates from the Lycée Bichat de Lunéville have set as their objective to raise awareness about the necessity of a good management of the Earth’s resources to insure its future. “People’s understanding of the concept of sustainable development is still very vague. We want to put names, faces, actions in front of these abstract
words” explains Matthieu Birker, who, after his master in Law, is preparing his PhD in Human Rights. “Our project, called L’An Vert du Monde (World’s Back to Front or World’s Green Year) consists of meeting men and women - the actors of this type of development in India, Sahara, Brazil, certainly in Egypt, maybe China, where big
Geoffroy, Marcellin and Matthieu, around the world project in order to collect data about environmental issues and transmit them.
concrete actions are carried out”, Marcellin Aubert, a second year student of L’Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris, has already left his home village for another way of human adventure. Challenge “Four years ago, with Marcellin and another former student, we went to Ukraine by bike, to bring back the testimony of the reality that several of our fellow-citizens ignore”, Geoffroy Genay, the third party, from the village of Charmois, who has just obtained his degree in Environmental Sciences. “Very inspired by Jean-Marie Pelt’s book “Le tour du monde d’un écologiste ” (An ecologist’s round world trip), we will prepare this new challenge methodologically. As him we are convinced that reading is not enough, we must act”. Matthieu mentions some examples of the subjects they are considering approaching. “Fresh water management; demographical influences; primary forest disappearance; the consequences of Assouan’s dam in parallel with its
equivalent but bigger construction in the Yang-Tse-Kiang river”. Echo Planned for September 2003 until June 2004, their trip will consist of six or seven main stages. “We will work hand in hand with our contacts that we already have in Brazil, in the Indian continent, and those which we are currently building”. Financially, as in Ukraine, sponsorship is part of their project. “In addition to the web site we are preparing to maintain people informed in a daily basis, we are going to offer our services to the media. The idea of making our work heard on a regular basis, through radio or the written press, is still ripening. After this, we will organise conferences. L’Ecole Centrale is very interested in this project”. To add one’s contribution to humanity’s fabric while always conserving a personal approach, this is their real ambition. Utopical attitude? “If at 22 we don’t believe in humankind we will never do so”, ensures Matthieu. Daniel Loppion