Press article about Tropica Verde

16.11.2023 Frankfurter Rundschau: Frankfurt: Developing an awareness for a better world

Loai (left) and Nelida from Bettina School show their savings symbols in the classroom.

Loai (left) and Nelida from Bettina School show their savings symbols in the classroom. © Renate Hoyer; Source: FR Original article



Frankfurt: Developing awareness for a better world

The city honors schools that are concerned about the climate and conserving resources.

A clothes exchange, drinking dispensers in the school building, flushing toilets with rainwater, a “green classroom” outside, photovoltaic systems on the roof and unsealing the schoolyard are just some of the many ideas from the pupils of the energy working group for more sustainability at Schule am Ried in Bergen-Enkheim. “We want to draw attention to waste. Instead of supporting fast fashion, pupils can swap clothes, for example,” says 15-year-old Paulina Rühl, explaining the idea behind the clothes exchange. Alexander Gall, teacher and head of the working group, is proud of the young people. “They put their heart and soul into their work.”

The Schule am Ried is not fighting climate change alone. There are many more in the city who are committed to climate and sustainability. On Thursday, Sylvia Weber (SPD), head of the education department, honored the so-called Frankfurt “energy-saving schools” in the auditorium of the Bettina School in Westend. The young people at Schule am Ried are delighted: “The certificate shows us how much you can change with small things.”

As part of the “Success sharing for user-related energy and water savings at Frankfurt schools” program, the participants were able to save CO2 emissions of around 3,600 tons in 2022, resulting in costs of almost 1.7 million euros. Under the motto “Save energy – increase budget”, schools have the opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and in return receive half of the costs saved back. The other half is used by the Office for Construction and Real Estate (ABI) for energy-saving investments in educational facilities.

His colleague Jenny Gebert initiates learning workshops for the school communities. “However, the partner schools also commit to continuously anchoring the topics of energy saving and climate protection in their lessons.” “Climate protection is a marathon, not a sprint,” emphasizes Mathias Linder, Head of the Energy Management Department at ABI. He is all the more pleased that at least five of the nine schools from the pilot phase in 1998 are still participating in the project today and that it is still so lively 25 years after it was founded.

92 schools were involved in 2022

A unique feature of Frankfurt and the reason for the project’s success is the involvement of the school administration. “This only works if many players come together.” They do. In 2022, 92 schools were committed to saving energy.

The Bettina School, host of the award, has firmly anchored climate protection in its school philosophy. “We are very proud to have been part of the project from the very beginning,” emphasizes principal Elke Schinkel. The young people pay attention to economical heating, correct ventilation and electricity consumption.

In the compulsory elective subject Geography+, they deal with sustainability. They are currently focusing on smartphones and their impact on the environment. “Now I’m more aware of the circumstances under which cell phones are manufactured,” says Nike Akebrand, 15 years old. She was particularly surprised by the way human rights were treated and the mining of minerals. She says: “The subject was my second choice, I don’t regret it.” (Sophia Krämer)

20.01.2020 Wiesbadener Kurier: Proceeds from performances for social causes

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The Kolping team hands over the donation to Walter Bürkin (left) from the “Tropica Verde” association. (Photo: Kolping Family)

20.01.2020, from hol

Proceeds from performances for social purposes

BIEBRICH – The theater group of the Biebrich Kolping Family has now presented two donations of 2,300 euros each. After five successful performances of the comedy “Lügen haben junge Beine”, translated by Horst Willems from the English original “Caught in the net – Run for your wife again” by Ray Cooney in the hall of the Kettelerhaus in Biebrich, the actors of the theater were not only rewarded with applause, but also with numerous donations. For 32 years, it has been a tradition to support various projects with the proceeds. One of the projects supported was initiated by the Frankfurt-based association “Tropica Verde”. The association is committed to the reforestation of the rainforest and the protection of species in Costa Rica. Walter Bürkin accepted the donation.

12.09.2019 Frankfurter Rundschau: 30 years of Friends of the Rainforest in Frankfurt

20191205 Foto Faunity von FR Artikel im Sept 2019

Monte Alto in Costa Rica: Tropica Verde has been active there since 1997. Faunity-Tropica Verde

12.09.19 18:12


30 years of Friends of the Rainforest in Frankfurt

byThomas Stillbauer

The association celebrates its birthday in the Palmengarten. His work over three decades also says a lot about the current climate problem.

The butterflies that will enrich the Palm Garden in future will come from Costa Rica – and the Tropica Verde association, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this Saturday, is active in Costa Rica. Where does he celebrate? Right: in the palm garden. This closes the circle.

Founded in 1989 by a group of Frankfurt biologists to do something about the destruction of the rainforests, the association has initiated many conservation projects over the past three decades. First of all, it was about raising awareness here in Germany to draw attention to the problems. This was later followed by actions on site.

Take Monte Alto, for example: it is a good example of what happens if the overexploitation of rainforests – as in Brazil – is not stopped. In Monte Alto on the Costa Rican peninsula of Nicoya, large companies once ruthlessly cut down what grew there: species-rich forests. The clear-cutting only benefited the cattle breeders who needed grazing land and ultimately harmed the whole world.

Firstly, deforestation led to erosion and a lowering of the water table. The local river, the Rio Nosara in the highlands, a source of drinking water for the population, lost 90 percent of its water level within 25 years after the clear-cutting, reports Tropica Verde. Secondly, the planet is losing the oxygen for which the trees, especially the extensive rainforests, are so important.

In 1993, the local people founded the Fundación Pro Reserva Forestal Monte Alto and began reforestation. They designated a protected forest area, received state support and Tropica Verde has been a member of the Fundación since 1997. The association bought land for the reforestation with the help of sponsors. More areas have been added in recent years and nature is slowly recovering – a success story, but there is still a lot to do in Monte Alto and in other projects. Help from Frankfurt came from the pupils of IGS Nordend, among others, who organized charity runs.

“Helping instead of complaining” has always been a motto of Tropica Verde, as well as “Si se puede”: Yes, we can do it, perhaps familiar to some from US and federal politics. From time to time, the association provides information about its work in the Palmengarten, where there is a full program on Saturday.

The 30th birthday party is open to everyone on September 14 from 2 to 6 pm. At the Palm Garden in Villa Leonhardi, there will be interviews on biodiversity conservation, live talks with partners in Costa Rica and information stands on environmental education. Everything you need to know:

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