Nairobi, 28 January 2019
The United Nations announced today that it is calling for nominations for the 2019 Young Champions of the Earth – the organization’s most prestigious prize for brave environmental entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30 with a big idea for the world’s future.
Each of the seven winners will receive $15,000 seed money to invest in their projects, $9,000 to invest in communicating and marketing their projects, invitations and funding to attend high-level UN meetings to share their big ideas with the world, and tailored training and mentorship.
Launched in 2017, the Young Champions of the Earth prize is inspired by the long-running Champions of the Earth Award, which remains the highest environmental honor of the United Nations. By engaging young visionaries, UN Environment seeks to engage the next generation of change-makers and thought-leaders as they set out to build a brighter world.
“The United Nation’s Young Champions of the Earth prize combines two ingredients that are critical to save our planet – innovation and the drive of young people. We need both in equal measure to address the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said Joyce Msuya, UN Environment Acting Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
With climate change threatening the existence of our natural ecosystems and societies, the competition’s organisers hope to find individuals who see beyond the crisis and have the courage to invent the future by carving their place in a new and greener economy.
The 2019 Young Champions of the Earth will be given a platform to become change agents, protecting the environment through their revolutionary ideas and radical innovation for people, planet and even for profit.
The prize is powered by Covestro, a leading manufacturer of materials for sustainable development. Chief Executive Officer, Markus Steilemann, said: “Engaging with the Young Champions from the past two years has demonstrated how much concern – and commitment – they have over the future of our planet. Their passion is very much shared by myself and Covestro’s employees. I am delighted to help kick-off the third round of this global competition – a brilliant platform to help young professionals make their dreams become reality. Together we can make the world a brighter place.”
Photo: Miao Wang, received the prize Young Champions of the Earth for Asia and the Pacific 2018 for "empowering divers to conserve and protect the ocean". (credit: Better Blue)
Previous UN Young Champions of the Earth have spearheaded bold, brave ideas addressing numerous sustainable development goals through high and low-tech innovations: from indigenous rooftop gardens tackling air pollution, to a mobile application which tracks and assists in influencing sustainable consumption off users till receipts; from farming coral to restore degraded reefs, to eco-conscious apparel; from diving centers powered by citizen science, to a novel technology which filters and converts 90% of particulates from diesel generators into printer ink.
The UN is now searching for the next Young Champions of the Earth for 2019. Following an open call for applications, a global jury will select the seven 2019 winners. Each winner will be expected to implement their big idea and keep UN Environment and partners updated on their progress by producing vlogs and blogs.
Interested environmentalists between the ages of 18 and 30 are encouraged to submit their big ideas here by midnight GMT on 31 March 2019.
Source: UN Environment
Video: Miao Wang is one of two Young Champions of the Earth 2018 for Asia and the Pacific. The Young Champions of the Earth Prize is powered by Covestro. She is Founder of Better Blue in April 2017 for marine protection, and the Chief Representative of Project AWARE in Greater China. Since 2018, Better Blue, managed by ChinaNext Foundation, aims to integrate resources of the diving industry and support divers and diving centres to participate in marine-related programmes in 20 cities across China.