WoW! meets Victor: At 15, he’s written his first book – on the wonders of the living world.
Have you ever wondered if there was something you could do to protect our planet and the creatures and plants that we share it with?
Maybe you think you’re too young to make a difference, that adults wouldn’t listen to you? Well, let Victor show you that anything is possible!
Victor’s 15 now, and for as long as he can remember he’s always loved the wonderful variety of life on Earth – its biodiversity: animals, flowers, forests, everything fascinates him! His parents tell him that when he was just 3 he was already studying the ants in their garden!
What really turned him on to Nature, though, was a big trip he took with his mum and dad when he was 8.
They travelled across Europe in a camper van and so little Victor spend loads of time outdoors. And in particular in the wilds of Norway and Scotland he came up close to animals which fired his imagination.
He got really into birds of prey, like eagles. When he was 9, he joined an organisation back home in France that helps protect wild birds. That helped him learn a lot about wildlife.
As he started to find out about these amazing creatures, he learned that quite a few types of bird are at risk of disappearing because of pollution, or because of people cutting down forests.
He really wanted to do something about it and so he started to write a blog online. Although he was only young, he got in touch with scientists who study Nature and with people who campaign to help the environment. He wrote up interviews with them on his website.
Careful what we buy
Last year, Victor organised a march for biodiversity in Metz, the city near where he lives in France – and 2,000 people came! He also goes to other schools to speak to children about ecology – the science of Nature.
Well, Victor is certain that kids have the power to get people to change their minds and look after the planet. They don’t all have to go on marches or speak to journalists like he does. They can persuade their parents, for a start. But they can also influence politicians and big business!
One thing we can all do, Victor says, is just buy less stuff:
“Everything we produce and everything we buy has an impact on our climate and on biodiversity,” he says.
His big message is this: “Everyone can do something at their own level,” says Victor. We can all choose to buy less or be choosier about what we buy and stick to things that are produced with care for Mother Earth.
“Because as citizens and consumers, we have enormous power !”
Many kinds of animal and plant could disappear because of human action. But we need this biodiversity to able to live well ourselves.
Like Victor, we can speak up to help Nature. You could join a club to work with others to change things – or explain to your family and friends how we can all help!
Victor Noël’s own blog, Le Blog de Victor, is here. It is, of course, in French, like much of the other background material on him which we offer over on the French edition of WoW! (just click on the French flag at the top right of this page).
You can also read about Victor in English here online, at The Connexion.
As we discuss in the podcast accompanying this article, one way children can get involved with protecting biodiversity is to be in touch with groups such as Roots & Shoots. That’s the youth movement with which WoW! has a partnership and which is run by the renowned naturalist and UN peace envoy Jane Goodall. You can find our stories on Jane, and Roots & Shoots, here, here and here.
Finally, take a look at the marshy pond that Victor and his dad created in their garden – and at all the life it nurtures:
Reporting and editing