Six Young Champions will receive $15,000 each in seed funding and intensive mentoring to help bring their big ideas to life

22 April 2017 

Today, on International Mother Earth Day, the United Nations Environment Programme will launch Young Champions of the Earth, a new initiative to spot young, talented people between the ages of 18 and 30 and support their inspiring ideas to save the environment.

Young Champions of the Earth is a global stage for young people to showcase technological inventions and innovative business models that improve our planet's health. The initiative aims to counter the negative discourse on the environment and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.

Young Champions of the Earth is sponsored by Covestro, one of the world’s leading polymer companies and a strong proponent of innovation for environmental sustainability.

Each year, six young people, one from each of UN Environment’s global regions, will be named Young Champions of the Earth. These winners will each receive US$15,000 in seed funding as well as intensive training and tailored mentoring to help bring their big environmental ideas to life.

The winners will be selected by a global jury that includes UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas. Winners will be invited to attend the Champions of the Earth Gala Dinner, to be held in Nairobi in December 2017.

The application period opens on 22 April and will close on 18 June.

UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim said: “As I’ve seen time and again, when young people are given opportunities and support, they can be powerful catalysts for change. It is our hope that Young Champions of the Earth will inspire thousands of young people around the world to develop innovative ways to tackle the environmental issues that matter to them.”

Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas said: “I am delighted to support UN Environment on this excellent initiative. Sustainable thinking and acting is critical in preserving our planet and improving the safety and quality of millions of people.

“Covestro seeks to contribute to this goal with products and technologies that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment. This is the basis of our vision ‘To make the world a brighter place’, and Young Champions invites the enthusiastic participation of all who care for our future.”

Source: UN Environment

Illustration Photo: Halong Bay, Vietnam (credits: Richard Vignola / Flickr Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

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