17 December 2020.
The United Nations Environment Programme recently named seven dynamic Environmentalists as its Young Champions of the Earth. The Champions of the Earth award is the United Nation’s highest environmental honour. It recognizes outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. Champions of the Earth inspire, defend, mobilize and act to tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our time.
The following seven laureates have won the UNEP 2020 Young Championships of the Earth Award
- Nzambi Matee of Kenya. He is a material engineer and is receiving the award for producing low-cost construction materials from recycled plastic waste and sand.
- Xiaoyuan Ren of China. He leads MyH20 organization that tests and records quality of groundwater in rural China. He is awarded with the prize for developing an application that will educate the communities in rural areas about the sources of clean water.
- Vidyut Mohan of India. He is the co-founder of Takachar. He has built affordable and portable biomass upgrading equipment. It allows farmers to prevent open burning by converting crop to fuels, activated carbon and fertilizers.
- Lefteris Arapakis of Greece. He founded Enaleia. It trains, empowers and incentivises local fishing community to collect plastic from sea. The collected plastic is recycled into fashion merchandise such as socks and swimsuits.
- Niria Alicia Garcia of USA. Niria coordinated alongside community of indigenous activists to bring life to the historical journey of the Sacramento chinook salmon along the largest water shed of California.
- Fatehmah Alzelzela of Kuwait. Fatehmah established Eco Star, a non-profit recycling initiative. It exchanges trees and plants for wastes from schools, homes and businesses in Kuwait. The company has so far recycled 130 tonnes of metal, plastic and paper.
- Max Hidalgo Quinto of Peru. Max founded Yawa. He built portable wind turbines that can harvest 300 litres fo water per day from atmospheric humidity and mist.
About the award:
The (UN Environment) established Champions of the Earth in 2005 as an annual awards programme to recognize outstanding environmental leaders from the public and private sectors, and from civil society. Typically, five to seven laureates are selected annually. Each laureate is invited to an award ceremony to receive a trophy, give an acceptance speech and take part in a press conference.
In 2017, the program was expanded to include Young Champions of the Earth – a forward-looking prize for talented innovators, 18 to 30, who demonstrate outstanding potential to create positive environmental imp