Apply for Young Champions of the Earth Prize

Children affected by dust and air pollution at the RMN Foundation free school for deserving children in Delhi. Photo by Rakesh Raman. Click the photo to meet the RMN Foundation School Children.
Children affected by dust and air pollution at the RMN Foundation free school for deserving children in Delhi. Photo by Rakesh Raman. Click the photo to meet the RMN Foundation School Children.

For the second year running, UN Environment and Covestro are calling on 18-30-year-old innovators to submit their creative solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Representing every global region, seven applicants with the most promising solutions will be recognized as Young Champions of the Earth – the world’s preeminent environmental honour for young people.

Each winner will receive USD 15,000 in seed funding, customized training, participation in a high-level UN meeting and global publicity. Application deadline is 16 April, 2018.

In parallel, up to 50 applicants will be granted privileged access to an online mentoring programme. A community of experts drawn from Covestro’s 16,000 global employees will become mentors dedicated to strengthening the viability and impact of the mentees’ ideas.

By providing such technical and financial support, UN Environment and Covestro will help young people to scale up their big ideas into real workable solutions for environmental problems and, in doing so, inspire others to take action.

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“There is not a single environmental problem today that we cannot innovate our way out of. It’s therefore essential that we do our best to empower and inspire young entrepreneurs,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.

“When we tap into that creativity, we can unearth fresh thinking and new possibilities for the sustainable future of our Earth. Young people are the leaders of today, not just tomorrow. They are the key to a clean, green and pollution-free planet.”

In 2018, seven young people – selected from every global region – will be named Young Champions of the Earth. These winners receive seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentorship to help them bring their big environmental ideas to life.

Following an open call for applications, UN experts will short-list 35 Regional Finalists who will be subjected to an online public vote, informing the selection of 14 World Finalists. A Global Jury will then select the seven 2018 winners.

Each winner will be expected to implement their big idea and inform about their progress by producing videos and blogs that will be shared on a dedicated website.

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Rakesh Raman