Lunchtime for pupils at a primary school in a remote mountain area in Southwest China's Yunnan province. [Photo/China Daily]
WENSHAN, Yunnan - Airbus donated 170,000 yuan ($26,163) this month to build a school garden in an impoverished region in Yunnan as part of the United Nation's Green Wave campaign aimed at raising awareness of the need to protect nature.
The money is being given to Malipo High Shool in the Wenshan Zhuang and Miao autonomous prefectures of the Southwest China province. Some came from donations by Airbus China employees and the rest from the company.
"It is part of the global Green Wave campaign, a joint initiative between Airbus and the United Nations focusing on the environment and biodiversity protection. The Green Wave encourages young people to learn about and care for biodiversity," said Rainer Ohler, senior vice-president of Airbus.
The leading aircraft manufacturer is working to encourage young people to engage with biodiversity through participation in the Green Wave and learn about the crucial role it plays in people's lives and futures.
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a United Nations intergovernmental treaty, the objectives of which are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
On May 22 each year (the International Day for Biodiversity), as part of The Green Wave initiative, young people are invited to plant a tree at 10 am to celebrate biodiversity. This will create a wave of planting. The activity passes through each time zone across the world.
"Airbus commits 80 percent of its research and development (R&D) investment into pioneering innovative solutions for greener flights and sustainable aviation, and we are proud to give our ongoing support to the CBD and The Green Wave initiative to help preserve this natural source of inspiration," said Tom Enders, Airbus' president and chief executive officer.
Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the United States, China, Japan and the Middle East.
CBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf said: "It is vital that major global businesses such as Airbus support us in spreading awareness of the importance of protecting the rich biodiversity of the world we live in. As we enter the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, I hope that Airbus' work will inspire other businesses to work with us in raising awareness and developing sustainable solutions to protect life on earth."
In addition to the Yunnan garden, Airbus employees are donating mini-orchards to local schools in the United Kingdom in support of the UN's International Year of Forests this year.
Starting in 2004, the world's leading aircraft manufacturer has donated 200,000 yuan annually through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support China's poverty aid program in Yunnan.
In May 2008, Airbus donated 5 million yuan in cash to help the people affected by the severe earthquake which occurred in Wenchuan, in Southwest China's Sichuan province, on May 12. After the disastrous Sichuan earthquake, the company dispatched an A380 plane to assist the Chinese authorities in transporting tents from Paris to Chengdu.
In March 2010, Airbus donated 200,000 yuan to Jinping county and Malipo county in Yunnan through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support drought relief efforts.
"We believe engaging young people in preserving the diversity of life on earth today is a sound investment in tomorrow. We commit we will continue to do so as a responsible corporate citizen in China," said Ohler.
Airbus entered China in 1985 with its first delivery of an A310 to China Eastern Airlines. Over the past two decades, 678 Airbus aircraft have been put into service on the Chinese mainland.
Earlier reports said Airbus would increase the production rate of its popular A320 Family of eco-efficient single-aisle aircraft to 42 aircraft a month in the fourth quarter of 2012. Currently, Airbus produces 36 A320 Family aircraft each month, a production rate that will steadily rise to 38 in August 2011 and to 40 in the first quarter of 2012.
Airbus delivered a total of 510 aircraft in 2010, including 401 A320 Family aircraft. By the end of April, Airbus had already delivered 132 A320 Family aircraft and is well on track to exceed previous years' deliveries.