Local teenager, Lisa van der Geer, has a revolutionary idea about to combat climate change – this 16-year-old girl from Eindhoven wants to move entire ecosystems to areas where they can thrive. And some people do not think this is such as a crazy idea, as demonstrated by the fact that she won an award for it.
On Wednesday, she won the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’s Dutch Charter’s first-ever Moonshot pitch during the SDG Action day held in Amsterdam. “To achieve SDGs by 2030, we need… radical ideas,” reads the SDGNederlands’s website. “Moonshots are in the grey area between bold projects and science fiction.”
To qualify for a shot at winning this Moonshot award, an entrant’s idea must achieve one or more of the 17 SDGs the UN wants to reach by 2030. Lisa’s plan meets three of these – climate action, life below water, and life on land. The Director of the global nature authority, IUCN, also invited Lisa to continue discussions about her plan. She also received €500 to kickstart her project.
Eco-systems out of whack
It is becoming exceeding clear that the natural world cannot cope with the rapid changes caused by climate control. This spells disaster for ecosystems that are no longer suited to the changing local climate zone they find themselves in. Many species do not survive, while others grow to plague-like proportions. This shift is evident in the oak processionary plague that has hit the Netherlands, and Eindhoven, in recent years.
‘What if we could relocate whole ecosystems,” wonders Lisa. She thinks natural areas can be seen as gigantic puzzle pieces that have been thrown out of place by climate change. We need to put the pieces back together correctly. “The reality is that we can no longer prevent the majority of the changes in the climate,” she says. “We should just admit it and keep that in mind.”
Lisa also gave a speech in The Hague at today’s Climate Strike, that was held in cities around the world.