WoW! News Podcast – The WoW! team meet Victor Noël, who at 15 has just written a book about his passion for all life on Earth. You’re never too young to help protect our planet!
Podcast transcript, Oct. 9 2020
A - Hello and welcome to WoW!, the positive podcast! Showing kids that there’s a lot more to the world news than bad news.
I’m Alastair. As a journalist, I’ve often written about things going wrong. But people also need to know too about what’s going right.
This week, we’ve a very special guest at WoW!, an inspiring young man who’s going to be talking to WoW! his passion for life on Earth – and how it’s never too soon to get involved to help protect our planet!
Alastair : Hi Clarisse !
Clarisse : Hi Alastair !
Alastair : So are you ready to meet our special guest this week?
Clarisse : Ah yes ! WoW ! was at the international geography festival last weekend. So what happened ?
Alastair : Well, our intrepid WoW! News reporter Fanny went to the festival at Saint Dié in eastern France and she ran into a teenager called Victor Noël. He’s just 15 but he wasn’t just hanging out at the festival – he was speaking at a conference, and – get this – signing copies of the new book he’s just written!
Clarisse : He’s just 15 and he’s done all that ?
Alastair : Yup, it’s pretty amazing, isn’t it. Fanny tells me that she was really impressed by Victor’s energy – it felt like h could e talk all day about biodiversity.
Clarisse : Biodiversity ? You mean everything that lives on Earth ?
Alastair : Exactly, Clarisse. Victor wants us to respect all life on Earth – to remember that, say, a slug is absolutely as important for us to look after as something grand and exciting like, ooh, tigers or bears.
Clarisse : Hm, I see, every kind of organism is important to keep our whole system in balance…
Alastair : Absolutely! Let’s have a listen to what he told Fanny (and obviously as Victor is French, he’s speaking in French so I’ll translate it…)
Victor : Bonjour ! Moi c’est Victor Noël, j’ai 15 ans et je suis passionné par la biodiversité, tout ce qui est vivant, les oiseaux, les arbres, les forêts, les champignons, etc.
[Hello! I’m Victor Noël. I’m 15 and I’m passionate about biodiversity, about everything that’s alive, the birds, trees, forests, mushrooms, and so on…]
Alastair : Fanny asked him when he first got hooked on Nature …
Victor : Elle a commencé depuis toujours je pense ! Mes parents me disent “quand tu avais 3 ans, tu observais les fourmis dans le jardin”. Et puis après c’était les rapaces, ces grands oiseaux qu’on nomme les oiseaux de proie, comme les aigles. Et puis après c’était les oiseaux plus généralement, et puis après la biodiversité dans sa globalité, le vivant. Et puis les liens que peuvent avoir les espèces entre elles. Donc c’est vraiment venu de l’observation de la forêt, dans les jardin chez moi.
[I’ve been like that forever, I think! My parents told me that ‘when you were 3, you used to study the ants in the garden’. After that it was birds of prey, like eagles. After that it was birds in general and then I got interested in all of life on Earth and in how species are connected with each other. That’s how I started really observing the forest around where I live.]
Clarisse : He’s so enthusiastic !
Alastair : You haven’t heard all of it yet ! He told Fanny that he really got into Nature when he was 8 and his parents took him on a long trip around Europe in a camper van. He was living outdoors nearly the whole time, and especially in the wilds of Norway and Scotland, he got to see loads of wildlife.
Clarisse : That must have been amazing. What a trip! He must have got some great photos!
Alastair : You better believe it ! He took some amazing shots of animals and he started publishing them online in a blog. And he also started interviewing scientists and other experts about Nature and how to protect it. Oh, and he joined a society in France that brings people together to protect wild birds.
Victor : Au départ, si j’ai adhéré à la LPO c’était plutôt parce que j'avais envie d’apprendre sur les oiseaux. Et puis de fil en aiguille, en rencontrant ces gens des associations, ils m’ont fait prendre conscience - et en s’intéressant, on prend forcément conscience - ben que cette nature, cette biodiversité que j’aimais observer, ces oiseaux, étaient très dégradés. Et ça s’est transformé en envie d’agir.
[At first, I joined the League for the Protection of Birds because I wanted to learn more about them. And then, as I met more people, they made me realise that all this Nature, this biodiversity, that I loved, these birds, they were really in trouble. That’s how I got the idea that I had to act…]
Clarisse : And what action does he take ?
Alastair : Well, last year, for example he organised a march for biodiversity in Metz, the city near where he lives – and 2,000 people came. Not bad for a teenager, right ? He also goes round to other schools talking to kids about protecting Nature. Victor thinks that children can have a huge impact – by persuading not just their families but even politicians and big business to change their habits, to stop us harming our environment. Above all, he thinks that we can all do something every day to help – starting with taking more care about what we buy…
Victor : Tout ce qui est produit, tout ce qu’on achète à un impact sur cette biodiversité, sur le vivant, sur le climat.
[Everything that is produced, everything we buy, has an impact on biodiversity, on life, on our climate.]
Clarisse : So what’s his book about ?
Alastair : It’s about biodiversity, about his passion for wildlife and for Nature in general. Most of all, explains very clearly why it’s so important.
Victor : C’est vraiment le message du livre, de ne plus oublier ce vivant… de ne plus oublier toutes ces espèces, les oiseaux, les champignons, ces bactéries qui peuplent la planète ! Réapprendre à s’émerveiller de ce vivant, c’est quelque chose de très important. Parce que quand on aura appris à respecter les insectes dans notre jardin, le phytoplancton dans les océans, toutes ces espèces qui nous font vivre… là on arrivera à faire des choses positives, à réinventer une société plus écologique.
[That’s really the message of the book – to stop forgetting about living things, about all the species, the birds, the fungi, the bacteria which fill our planet! It’s really important that we learn to look with wonder at life on Earth again. Because once we’ve learned to respect the insects in the garden, the plankton in the oceans, all these forms of life which help keep us alive, then we’ll be able to do something positive, to reinvent a more ecological society.]
Clarisse : Wow, that’s really inspiring…
Alastair : It is, Clarisse. And let’s hear a final thought from Victor on how kids can get involved if they want to…
Victor : C’est de se rapprocher d’associations locales, de sensibiliser ses parents, son entourage. Il y a plein de choses à faire mais le conseil que je peux donner à ces jeunes qui ont envie de s'investir c’est : de la motivation, ne lâchons rien, même si c’est compliqué on y va !
[Joining local clubs, explaining our ideas to your parents, people around you. There are loads of ways. But the main thing I’d say to children who want to get involved is ‘don’t give up’. Even if it seems difficult, get stuck in!]
Clarisse : Well said Victor ! He should go into politics…
Alastair : Well, actually, Fanny asked him about that and whether he had ambitions to be a politicians. But Victor sees himself more as a farmer, a market gardener, growing vegetables and living in the open air – close to his beloved Nature!
Clarisse : Well, whatever he does, he’s made me want to find out more about biodiversity and Nature and, well, maybe even join a club to do more for wildlife with other people. If I was younger, I’d think of joining our friends from WoW!, Roots and Shoots…
Alastair : That’s a great idea, Clarisse. Yes, listeners can find out more on our website about the famous scientist Jane Goodall and her organisation for young people, which is called Roots and Shoots. We’re really proud to be partners and love the way Jane sees that children have so much to offer in making sure we look after planet Earth. Just go to our site, wow dash news dot eu and search for “Jane”. With that Clarisse and I will sign off for now…
Clarisse : See you next week !
Alastair : See you, Clarisse! And thanks to you all out there for listening. We’d love to hear about any activities you do to take an interest in Nature. You can drop us a line on our site – remember? It’s wow dash news dot eu. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, do share it with a friend. I’m Alastair and I’ll be back next week. Until then, stay positive…!