“As a secretary general united nation I’ve been traveling many countries and I’ve been meeting many different people, I have been visiting many different places and many schools but this is the most unique and impressive school I have ever visited.”

On Thursday 28 August 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mrs. Ban visited Green School to tour the school, engage with students, and witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on “Green schools for sustainable development” between  the government of Indonesia, United Nations REDD+ and Green School.

Recognising the alarming threat that climate change poses to development and the betterment of living conditions of the poorest, the Secretary-General noted that, decisions makers have ‘tough choices to make’. He ensured the students that,

“Tomorrow you are going to be the leaders. Today we are working very hard to make this world of tomorrow much better for all the people.”

Heru Prasetyo, Head of the Indonesian National REDD+ Agency (BP REDD+), commented that “Green School is an outstanding proof of concept. The next step is to achieve proof of scale. By 2017, we aim to have one million ‘green youth ambassadors’ in Indonesia”. Supporting Green Schools and strengthening environmentally sensitive school curricula, is one of the ten imperative actions of the National REDD+ Agency in 2014.

Mr. Satya Tripathi, Director of UNORCID, assured UNORCID’s continued support to Indonesia to drive forward its REDD+ agenda and noted that “The Green School shows how sustainability principles can guide us towards happiness and wealth in their most meaningful forms.” The Secretary-General had inaugurated the UNORCID Pilot Province Office in Central Kalimantan in 2011 with “great hopes for just the kind of results we see here today”.

Key climate change and education actors accompanied the Secretary Generaland Mrs. Ban during the event, including H.E. Mr. Morten Høglund, Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; H.E. Mr. Stig Traavik, Ambassador of Norway to Indonesia; Mr. John Hardy, Founder of the Green School Bali; Mr. John Stewart, Head of Green School Bali, and Heads of Schoolsfrom across Bali. The over 400 students from the GreenSchool were present to take part in the event and ask questions to Secretary-General.
The event was concluded with the Secretary-General and Mrs. Ban releasing two of Bali’s endangered Starlings, offered by the Begawan Foundation, a non-profit organisation working in Bali to save the species for extinction.

Related links: