For five days some 250 children aged 10-14 from more than 67 countries debated environmental issues, presented environmental projects, and shared experience of sustainability in a bid to find solutions for sustainable development. The occasion was the sixth International Children’s Conference for the Environment, the UN’s largest event for children, held recently in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

The aim of the conference is to encourage young people to take responsibility for the environment, and is therefore in line with Novozymes’ vision of contributing to sustainable development through its business activities.

Novozymes put USD 25,000 towards the conference. John Slade, managing director of Novozymes Malaysia, took part in several of the conference activities:

“I’m delighted that Novozymes was able to support the UN Environment Programme in this way. Our responsibility as a company also entails a responsibility for sustainable development, and at Novozymes we believe in collaborating with all of our stakeholders to promote environmentally and bioethically responsible behaviour. Here we had a fantastic opportunity to engage in dialogue with potentially the world’s future decision-makers, back them up, and show that Novozymes is contributing to their important work.”

The theme for this year’s event was the protection of forests under the motto “Save a tree, save our lungs”, and so more than 70 fruit trees of local species were planted as part of the conference. Each day also brought presentations of environmental projects, from new forests in Australia and Colombia, the conservation of water in Gaza and India, to all kinds of projects to do with recycling.

The five-day conference culminated in a message sent to key decision-makers concerning children’s interest in and concern for the environment.

The conference was first held in 1995, and over the years it has nurtured both individuals and groups who have been recognised for important work for the environment. The next International Children’s Conference for the Environment will take place in Stavanger in Norway in two years’ time.