Entry and Submission
What is meant by a “big idea”?
Albert Einstein famously stated: “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That is why solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges are likely to come from young people. Your fresh thinking and creative energy gives you an edge over older generations.
So what is your big idea? It might be a grassroots campaign to promote low-carbon transport; a slick app to increase ecological literacy; a tree-planting crusade to restore a degraded catchment; a festival of art showcasing nature’s marvels; a technology to save and recycle scarce water resources; a financial tool to facilitate access to clean energy; or a new method of community-based natural resource management.
Whatever your idea, it will stand apart if it speaks directly to an environmental challenge - like biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, or water scarcity; is original and innovative; and can be scaled up based on preliminary research. Be ambitious and think outside the box: Be an incubator of positive change!
Must I be studying environmental science or working in the environmental sector to stand a chance of winning?
No. We believe that anyone in any sector has the potential to become a Young Champion of the Earth.
In which world region am I competing?
UN Environment operates in six regions: Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; North America; and West Asia. Your country of residence determines the world region in which you compete for the prize. To identify your region, visit: http://www.uneplive.org/regionscountries
I will be under 18 on 31 December 2018. Why can’t I apply for the Prize?
Your time will come! We know that age is just a number and it shouldn’t stop anyone from having a big idea or making a difference. However, in order for us to recognize your abilities as an environmental changemaker, we need to see hard evidence in the form of life experience and past achievements. Additionally, Young Champions will be required to travel unaccompanied to various ceremonies, training workshops and media events.
Is there an application fee?
No. There is no cost to participate.
Can a group submit a joint application?
We are seeking to identify brilliant individuals. Your ideas may be borne out of group work and your big idea may require a group to be implemented, but ultimately prizes and mentorship - as well as promotion of your activities - will be awarded to individuals, not to groups.
Can I submit more than one application?
Not in a single year. We encourage you to submit only your very best idea.