Climate Hero Sun Guoyou
2023, Junior, Film
Climate Hero: Sun Guoyou, Ningxia Majiatan Town Forest Farm
There are many brave warriors in the world fighting against environmental degradation, and I have chosen Sun Guoyou, a man who undertook the arduous task of planting trees in the desert, as the protagonist of the story I wish to tell. Because the story takes place in China, I chose to use origami paper with Oriental style to create stop-motion animation. Sun Guoyou is a hardworking contractor who, while undertaking a road construction project in the arid northwest city of Ningxia, unexpectedly discovered underground water in the desert. He realized that the current landscape was not as dry as it appeared. Later, he learned that this land was once fertile with abundant water and vegetation a century ago. However, due to population growth and excessive exploitation, the ecological environment deteriorated, leading to severe desertification, turning many areas into barren land. Sun Guoyou was deeply moved by seeing the local people struggling to make a living on this impoverished land, and he decided to plant trees in the desert. However, planting trees in the desert was not an easy task. In 2003, he led his entire family into the desert, and over the course of ten years, many of the tree seedlings he planted died, while the surviving trees also decreased due to adverse weather conditions, such as sandstorms. His friends around him advised him to give up this unrewarding endeavor, but he persisted in planting trees and even spent most of his savings. Although his family did not understand him at first, they remained by his side. Whenever a tree fell, he would continue to lift it up. When the water source was far away, he personally fetched water, and even when a local oil company disrupted the water source through oil extraction, he did not compromise. He actively communicated with the government, raised awareness, and eventually received assistance. Under Sun Guoyou's influence, his daughter also joined the desert tree-planting cause. Through his continuous efforts, trees are beginning to grow in the dry land. I chose to spread his story, hoping that we all can pay attention to climate issues and protect our Earth. True heroes are those who have the courage to make a difference, who choose to move forward despite knowing the challenges ahead, and who serve for a greater purpose.