Greek scientists, artists embark on green trip to South Africa

A group of 25 adventurous Greek scientists and artists will leave Athens on Wednesday for a 50-day trip to Cape Town in South Africa by environmental-friendly cars and public transport to awake environmental consciousness across Europe and Africa.
“We bet that we can cover 14,000 kilometers, taking one of the most challenging routes worldwide giving people an example in this difficult times that if we believe in a purpose, we can achieve our goals,” said Yannis Tzortzis, head of the Green Project mission, presenting the project during a press conference in Athens on Tuesday.

The Green Project is a non profit organization that was founded in the context of UNESCO’s “World Solar Program 1996-2005.” With the participation of daring volunteers the project aims to strengthen cooperation between peoples on the protection of the environment through “green journeys of art and science.”
Two years ago a group of Greek members of the project traveled from Athens to Beijing along the Silk Road to focus attention on the energy roads. They returned back to Greece with 30,000 photographs and 40 hours of film.

This year, as UNESCO celebrates the International Year of Biodiversity, the theme of the second Green Project mission is ” From Waterways to Energy Routes.”
According to the timetable, the team will cross 10 countries until they reach their final destination on September 6. The members of the group will record on camera the traditional practices of locals regarding bio-climatic architecture. The material on film will be used for art exhibitions and educational programs for students, said Ioanna Lemoni, representative of the Goulandris Natural History Museum of Athens who is among the participants in the mission.

During their trip to African countries from Egypt and Sudan to Malawi and South Africa, the Greek volunteers will also present to African communities pilot renewable energy sources applications, such as solar cookers that use sunlight to pasteurize water.
“It is a wonderful project. Thank you for thinking of Africa. It will be one of the regions that will be most affected by climate change. We do not know what to do yet to face it, but with projects such this people will learn a lot and will teach you age- old traditions,” said South African Ambassador to Athens, Donna Marassa, addressing the event and wishing all the best to participants.

The whole project runs under the auspices of the Greek National Commission of UNESCO, the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the City of Athens, the Goulandris Natural History Museum and other Greek organizations.
Representatives of the sponsors and supporters attended the event, wishing the members of the mission a most successful trip for the benefit of all citizens of the world.