United Nations Environment today announced a shortlist of regional finalists for the Young Champions of the Earth prize. The global competition aims to identify, support and celebrate outstanding individuals aged between 18 and 30 with big ideas to protect or restore the environment.
From more than 900 applicants, the top 35 in each region were selected for their fresh approach to tackling the world's most pressing environmental crises, with ground-breaking, scalable and innovative ideas.
From wildlife protection in Eastern Angola to blockchain-powered electric vehicle distribution in Singapore and cleaner couture Mexico, the finalists tackle a broad range of environmental challenges such as plastic and air pollution, reef restoration and ecosystem decline.
"The talent and caliber of cutting-edge solutions presented by the finalists of the Young Champions Award is truly inspiration," said UN Environment's Acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya.
"Young people are increasingly calling on us to take bold climate action to preserve our future. The solutions presented by this group of young people provide us innovative and ambitious plans that, when implemented around the world, form the kind of collection action we need to take on the ground.
"We are committed to providing these young people the support and opportunity to make their journey a success," she said.
Markus Steilemann, Chief Executive Officer of Covestro, the leading polymer manufacturer which sponsors the Young Champions of the Earth prize, said:
"Our world is facing enormous challenges, so effective environmental solutions and fresh ideas are urgently needed. These brilliant Young Champions deserve our encouragement and support to help turn their ideas into viable solutions. We congratulate them all for helping to make the world a brighter place."
The winners will be selected by a global jury made up of Covestro Chief Executive Officer Markus Steilemann, UN Environment's Acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya, VICE News Tonight's science and climate change correspondent Arielle Duhaime-Ross, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake and Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation.
Each winner receives US$15,000 in seed funding, expert mentoring, tailored training in leadership, storytelling and communications, and access to powerful networks and mentors.
Short biographies of the 35 regional finalists and summaries of their ideas including video pitches are now available on the Young Champions website. The global jury will select the seven Young Champions in September during the awards ceremony at the Champions of the Earth Gala Dinner in New York.
About Young Champions of the Earth
Young Champions of the Earth is a forward-looking prize celebrating young people with a big idea to protect or restore the environment, a vision for a more sustainable future and a strong track record of instigating change. They have what it takes to be a Young Champion of the Earth, they are unafraid of failure and believe in a bright future for our planet.
Covestro is a world leader in polymer solutions. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative products used in many areas of daily life, serving the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs more than 16,000 people.
About UN Environment
UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.