Students share their hopes for a successful 30 x 30 conservation effort

artwork of a sea turle by Yeremenko Alina, 16 years old Ukrainian student

Artwork by Yeremenko Alina, 16 years old, pupil of the “Fine Art” KZPO “Shyrokiv Center for Children’s Creativity” of the Shirokiv settlement council, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine

Students share their hopes for a successful 30 x 30 conservation effort

Amidst war in their country, Ukrainian children are sharing their messages of hope for nature and the environment.

As part of the #NatureForAll Love Fest, held in February 2023, students from around the world were asked to imagine what the world might look like if efforts by the global community to conserve 30% of terrestrial and marine habitat by 2030 is successful.

Artwork by Chorna Veronika, 6-A class Mykolaiv ZZSO I – III degrees N1 Mykolaiv, Stryi district, Lviv region, Ukraine.

Organized by Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants, and inspired by the International Union of Conservation for Nature’s #NatureForAll initiative, this 30 x 30 art contest received more than 2,800 submissions from around the world, including 2,500 from students in war-torn Ukraine.

Jesse Hildebrand, VP of Education at EBTSOYP says past campaigns had a few hundred submissions – almost exclusively from kids in Canada and the U.S.

“This time the awesome folks at Ocean Wise passed it along to a partner group of theirs in Ukraine. I was happy to see it go there, and expected maybe 20-30 drawings tops from kids there,” he said.

But then something amazing happened.

“Every morning, all month, I’d wake up to between 20 and 300 (yes, 300) emails from Ukraine with kids K-12 sharing their positive, peaceful, ecological visions of what they wanted the future to look like, he said.

“It is one of the most lovely and fulfilling things I’ve ever had the chance to be a part of.”

To commemorate the incredible contributions from children of Ukrainian in the campaign, Reserva the Youth Land Trust will allocate $3,000 of their donations towards their Dracula Ecuadorian forest reserve in their name.

You can view a selection of the images received from Ukraine here and here (two padlets were necessary to accommodate them all!)

A note from a Ukrainian girl upon hearing the Reserva news

“All children and adults of Ukraine are infinitely grateful to Canadians and the whole world for supporting Ukraine in the fight against the enemy! We feel it all the time in Ukraine. It is very nice to feel involved in saving tropical forests – the lungs of the planet. This is a great good cause! This is great! Thank you very much!”

A note from Nina Shamrai, a Ukrainian teacher

“Dear colleagues! We thank you and the entire Canadian people for the enormous support of Ukrainians in our fight against the aggressor. Our school is now empty. The children have gone to all corners of Europe, but the time will come when we will all meet in our native walls. We will rebuild our damaged school and plant trees and flowers. Big environmental projects are waiting for us. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to participate in your art campaign.”


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