Wanted: Young minds to help solve China's environmental woes

In its third year, Bayer program continues to seek youths with passion for environment. Program aims at students in Shanghai, Nanjing, Hefei, Beijing and Tianjin...

SHANGHAI, April 4, 2005 (Xinhua-PRNewswire) -- Starting in April, Bayer (China) Ltd. has once again launched the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Program. Now in its third year in China, the program is encouraging students aged 18-22 from the five cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hefei to participate in the competition to become a Bayer Young Environmental Envoy.

Applicants must have previous experience in environmental activities, motivation to contribute to a better environment in China, and the initiative to implement projects to achieve this goal. Application forms and details can be downloaded on the Internet at www.envir.gov.cn or www.bayeryoungenvoy.com. Fifteen students will be selected as Bayer Young Environmental Envoys. They will participate in environmental activities such as an eco-camp, through which an independent judging panel will select four young people to represent China during an all-expenses paid field trip to Bayer AG's headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, and the Bayer International Youth Environment Day in November 2005.

The Program was successfully launched in 2003 by Bayer and the Shanghai Environmental Education Center (SEEC) in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou, and expanded to include Beijing and Tianjin in 2004. It is planned to rotate the participating cities in order to ensure a broad range of participants. A total of 30 students have so far become Young Envoys, with eleven of them participating in Bayer-sponsored activities abroad. In 2004 six Chinese Envoys joined Envoys from eleven countries across the globe for a week-long visit to Bayer AG, where they learned about environmental protection and sustainable development in the industrial sector, but also on the municipal and state levels.

Among the local activities in 2004, the current Bayer Young Environmental Envoys and alumni carried out a river cleaning and water analysis activity in Shanghai's southern district of Jinshan, which was topped off with a public campaign there to raise environmental awareness. They furthermore carried out environmental education programs in a kindergarten and took part in a summer eco-camp in Beijing and an Envoy organized winter eco-camp in Hangzhou.

The Bayer Young Environmental Envoys program was originally initiated in Thailand in 1995 with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and carried out with Bayer sponsorship. Since then, Bayer has broadened the scope of this initiative to 12 countries in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Besides China, other Asian countries include the Philippines, Singapore, India, Indonesia and Korea. The Bayer Young Environment Envoy Program is at the heart of a global partnership in youth and environmental education between Bayer and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) under an agreement signed in June 2004. Bayer has became the first private- sector company to partner with the UNEP in environmental projects for young people.

Bayer (China) Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer AG. Today, Greater China is Bayer's second largest single market in Asia, with sales of around EUR1.45 billion in 2004, and the company employs some 2,700 people there. Bayer is represented in Greater China by a total of 17 companies with 11 of them being production facilities. Local production accounts for an increasing proportion of sales and China has become one of Bayer's major global investment destinations.

Shanghai Environmental Education Center is an institution under the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, set up especially for the involvement in environmental education and propagation. Established in 1984, the center collects and disseminates information on environmental activities and facilitates projects in the environmental realm.

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