Winners of the International YRE Competition 2019

Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Kristina Madsen, International YRE Coordinator | E: 
kristina@fee.global

 

Copenhagen, June 2019

From thousands of entries submitted to national YRE Competitions in 36 countries this year, the top 200 finalists reached the International YRE Competition 2019. This is the largest number of entries YRE International has ever received, highlighting the growing movement of youth voices and the global interest in the YRE programme.

The awarded entries reflect some of the very best work carried out by YRE students from around the world. The International Jury was very impressed with the students’ choice of interesting local topics, including their reflection on the links to the Sustainable Development Goals as well as their skills on investigative journalism and critical thinking. The winning entries are listed below and will be published through Medium and on the website of Climate Tracker.

“This is my seventh year as a jury member and every year I am more and more impressed by the number of countries participating and also by the quality of the reporting within the articles, videos and photos. What really struck me this year was that the themes on the SDGs were much more focused and help showcase the goals,” says Julie Saito, UNESCO.

Slovakia and Malta became the two countries that received the highest number of awards. This clearly reflects the hard work of the YRE National Operators implementing the programme as well as the efforts by students and teachers. A number of Honourable Mentions were also given to countries that are new in the YRE Programme, including South Africa, Belgium and Puerto Rico.

"Youth are leading the climate and environmental fight, and the YRE submissions prove it! They are showing great passion on denouncing the environmental damages through writing, photo and video, and taking action to change. The future of environmental journalism and activism is quite safe!" says Anna Pérez Catalá, co-director of Climate Tracker and YRE Jury Member.

This year’s International YRE Jury

The International YRE Jury is composed of professionals in the fields of environmental journalism, corporate social responsibility and education for sustainable development, including representatives from UNESCO, UNEP, MARS Wrigley Foundation etc.

The International YRE Jury meeting took place on the 28th of May at the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) head office in Copenhagen, Denmark. There was a thorough discussion on what entries should be awarded based on different criteria such as the technical quality, investigation, originality, and dissemination of the entries. The Jury was free to give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, as well as Honourable Mentions, as they saw fit.

List of Jury Members 2019:

  • Anne Vela-Wagner, Executive Director of the MARS Wrigley Foundation

  • Christopher Slaney, Freelance Journalist

  • Mari Nishimura, Ecosystem Division, UNEP

  • Torvald Jacobsson, Founding Partner of Edumanity and COO of TheGoals.org, Lund University (IIIEE)

  • Julie Saito, Programme Specialist of Communication, UNESCO

  • Pedro Marcelino, Documentary Film Producer and Director

  • Mayra Navarrete, Photographer

  • Anna Pérez Catalá, Environmental Scientist and co-director of Climate Tracker

  • Filipa Murta, YRE Alumnus from Portugal

  • Sasha Karajovic, FEE Board Member

  • Richard Steed, Communications Officer, FEE

Find detailed information about each Jury Member here

From left to right: Pramod Sharma, Torvald Jacobsson, Sasha Karajovic, Gosia Luszczek, Filipa Murta, Pedro Marcelino. Richard Steed, Julie Saito, Anne Vela-Wagner, Mayra Navarrete, Christopher Slaney and Kristina Madsen

From left to right: Pramod Sharma, Torvald Jacobsson, Sasha Karajovic, Gosia Luszczek, Filipa Murta, Pedro Marcelino. Richard Steed, Julie Saito, Anne Vela-Wagner, Mayra Navarrete, Christopher Slaney and Kristina Madsen

About the International YRE Competition

The International YRE Competition is composed of three age groups (11-14, 15-18 and 19-25) and three media categories (articles, photos and videos) as well as a special category for International Collaboration. To enter the International Competition, the entries must be awarded the 1st place in the National YRE Competitions held earlier in the year. For countries participating in the Litter Less Campaign, YRE students also have the opportunity to submit entries related to the issue of litter and waste which are assessed separately. All entries can be found on the YRE Competition's Exposure page.

 

The International YRE Competition winners for 2019 are:

Article

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: The Upcycling Solution
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: Take Action, Don’t Wait for a Reaction
Country: Singapore

3rd Place
Title: Where is the ship sailing to?
Country: Montenegro

 

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: Bees in the City: Small Insects, Big Problems
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: A Bloody Problem Period
Country: Canada

3rd Place
Title: The Folly of Developing New Vehicle Fuel Stations
Country: Malta

3rd Place
Title: The Polluting of the River Elbe by Chemical Plant Draslovka Kolín
Country: Czech Republic

Honourable Mention - for creating a moving piece on a local issue
Title: The Stream That Sees It All
Country: South Africa

Honourable Mention - for choosing a new and interesting topic
Title: The Dangers of a Bright Night
Country: Puerto Rico

 

19-25 years old

1st Place
Title: Climate Change: Looking Back for a Solution of Today
Country: Singapore

2nd Place
Title: A step into the unknown - climate change and Scotland's outdoors
Country: Scotland

2nd Place
Title: First Straw-Free City in Slovakia On the Horizon
Country: Slovakia

3rd Place
Title: Coastal erosion and its relation to climate change and human intervention
Country: Puerto Rico

Honourable Mention - for creating a moving piece with heart-breaking photos
Title: A noble companion - a careless beneficiary
Country: Ghana

 

Photo

11-14 years old

1st Place (Reportage Photo)
Title: The Secret Life of the Market
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place (Reportage Photo)
Title: Till death do us part…
Country: Cyprus

Honourable Mention (Reportage Photo) - for the technical quality of the photo
Title: Like Knows Like
Country: China

 

15-18 years old

1st Place (Campaign Photo)
Title: Stop Sucking The Life Out Of Our Oceans
Country: Canada

2nd Place (Campaign Photo)
Title: Next stop OCEAN
Country: Portugal

Honourable Mention (Reportage Photo) - for the technical quality of the photo and its strong message, although lacking an environmental angle
Title: The first row
Country: Belgium

 

19-25 years old

Honourable Mention (Reportage Photo) - for the technical quality of the photo
Title: Pollinators, the queens of life
Country: Portugal

 

Video

11-14 years old

1st Place (Reportage Video)
Title: ALPEDRETE QUARRIES
Country: Spain

1st Place (Reportage Video)
Title: A Little Respect
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place (Reportage Video)
Title: The energy transition in St-Pierre-etMiquelon
Country: France

Honourary Mention (Campaign Video) - for sending a good message
Title: Life without plastic
Country: Greece

 

15-18 years old

1st Place (Reportage Video)
Title: Where did the darkness go?
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place (Reportage Video)
Title: Wise man - Wise consumer
Country: Israel

3rd Place (Reportage Video)
Title: Plastic Packing in grocery stores
Country: Canada

3rd Place (Campaign Video)
Title: Climate smart food
Country: Sweden

 

19-25 years old

1st Place (Reportage Video)
Title: Stop waste now!
Country: France

2nd Place (Reportage Video)
Title: Circular economy in local community
Country: Slovenia

Honourable Mention (Campaign Video) - for the technical quality of the video
Title: Dear Everyone
Country: Singapore

 

International Collaboration

1st Place (Article, 15-18 years)
Title: Behind the biggest producer and exporter of cork
Countries: Portugal, Turkey, Greece, and Malta

1st Place (Reportage Video, 19-25 years)
Title: SUSTAINABLE TOURISM - IS IT POSSIBLE?
Country: Malta and Spain

2nd Place (Article, 15-18 years)
Title: Red Meat consumption – an international collaborative research
Countries: Portugal and Israel

 

Winners in Litter Less Campaign category:

Article

11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: Refocus and reduce….No to Junk Mail!
Country: Malta

2nd Place
Title: To Kill a Seabird
Country: New Zealand

3rd Place
Title: “Dumped from home” Were you dumped from home? Are you not in your best shape anymore?
Country: Israel

 

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: When Life Gives You Lemons
Country: New Zealand

2nd Place
Title: Brown is the New-Green
Country: Israel

 

19-25 years old

1st Place
Title: Lower waste, slimmer waists - Fighting food wastage, one grain at a time
Country: India

 

Photo

11-14 years old

1st Place (Campaign Photo)
Title: It's time to wake up to the problem of plastic!
Country: Northern Ireland

2nd Place (Campaign Photo)
Title: People are blind to see
Country: Malta

15-18 years old

1st Place (Reportage Photo)
Title: Home sweet home
Country: Malta

Honourable Mention (Reportage Photo) - for highlighting the issue of plastic and wildlife
Title: We are Not the Only Ones
Country: New Zealand

 

19-25 years old

1st Place (Photo Reportage)
Title: FROM TIMES PAST
Country: Spain

2nd Place (Photo Reportage)
Title: Dream Island – you Decide?
Country: Wales

 

Video

11-14 years old

1st Place (Campaign Video)
Title: One meal, a lot of garbage!
Country: Israel

2nd Place (Reportage Video)
Title: REPORT ON SCHOOL-GROUND RUBBISH
Country: Australia

Honourable Mention (Campaign Video) - as a fun campaign video that was screened at a film festival
Title: Moepapa (Nightmare)
Country: New Zealand

 

15-18 years old

1st Place (Campaign Video)
Title: Bring your own
Country: Malta

2nd Place (Campaign Video)
Title: What do you do with your E-waste?
Country: Israel

2nd Place (Campaign Video)
Title: Find a Home for the Trash. We Are on the Move!
Country: China

 

19-25 years old

No entries were submitted in this age group

 

YRE given Special Commendation Award for the Global Youth & New Media Prize

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YRE given Special Commendation Award

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) has received a Special Commendation award for its work in mobilizing 340,000 student reporters in 38 countries to find solutions when reporting about environmental issues. The prize will be given at this year’s Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Since 2002, the Eurasian Media Forum has served as a world-class platform where ‘East meets West’ to discuss the pressing topics and the latest news from the Americas, Europe and Asia. The forum brings together more than 600 delegates from at around 60 countries: notable politicians, experts and influential media speakers.

Each year during the two day forum, the Global Youth & New Media Prize jury awards organisations that innovate and strengthen engagement between news media and young people while reinforcing the role of journalism in society.

“I am delighted that the Global Youth & News Media Prize jury gave Young Reporters for the Environment a Special Commendation in The Planet Award category,” says Dr. Aralynn McMane, director of the prize. "YRE is doing a great job on a global scale helping young people do exemplary solutions journalism about the environment that has real impact at the local level”.  

The Planet Award category honors actions that excel in providing young audiences with information and hope for saving the Earth and that strengthen engagement between news media and young people while reinforcing the role of journalism in society.

The Planet Award is part of the Global Youth & News Media Prize, which was created to give recognition to news media organizations around the world that effectively innovate in the quest to serve, support, attract and learn from young audiences. The prize is supported by News-Decoder, the European Journalism Centre, and the Google News Initiative.

“It is with great honour that our YRE programme has been given this award in recognition of all the work that we do. We would like to thank them for their recognition and we are very grateful to our hard working students who make this programme the success it has become today,” says YRE International Director Malgorzata Luszczek

During the two day forum there will will be speakers from media and development fields, like Nelson Graves (News Decoder CEO, former Senior reporting and editor at Reuters), Zahra Rasool (Head of Contrast, Al Jazeera), Martin Ford (Best selling author, researcher and software entepreneur) as well as from across the political spectrum like Toomas Henrik Ilves, former President of Estonia and Jerrol Thompson, former Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Forum takes place on 22 - 24th of May, 2019 in Almaty Kazakhstan.

More about Global Youth & News Media Prize 2019 Laureates can be found here.

Download here the YRE Presentation for the Award in PDF or click on the picture below.

About YRE – ‘Giving our environment a voice’

The Young Reporters for the Environment programme aims to empower young people aged 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video. The programme is based on a four-step methodology which seeks to develop students’ critical thinking and expression, creativity and leadership skills. Every year the top YRE investigations have the chance to participate in the annual YRE competition and to be assessed by professional juries on national and international levels. The programme also gives Young Reporters the opportunity to participate in international environmental conferences to further develop their skills and network.

Website: www.yre.global

About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
With members in 77 countries we are the world’s largest environmental education organisation. FEE’s programmes represent the cutting edge in Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education. It is the vision of the Foundation for Environmental Education that through its five programmes we empower people everywhere to live sustainably and in an environmentally conscious manner.

www.fee.global

Educational activities and resources from WWF

We are happy to share some brand-new educational resources for students and teachers created by WWF. The below text and photos were produced by WWF to inform about Our Planet and the ways that students and teachers can participate and use the educational materials.

Our Planet, Their Future

“Young people are the future of our planet. We must equip them with the information, insight and practical skills to understand the importance of biodiversity - both intrinsically and for the survival of humanity. Educators have a key role to play in preparing young people for the challenges that lie ahead. There can be no greater legacy than giving young people the tools they need to save our planet.” - Sir David Attenborough

WWF’s 2018 Living Planet Report revealed the scale of human impact on our precious natural world. Our Planet, launched on Netflix earlier this month, takes the story further. The eight-part series, voiced by David Attenborough, reveals the natural wonders that remain, and explores what we need to do to ensure a future in which nature and people thrive.

Today’s young people will be the stewards of our planet in the years to come, and the future of all life depends on them gaining the knowledge, skills and passion for nature necessary to transform humanity’s relationship with the natural world and build a more sustainable future. With just 10 years to bring huge changes to lifestyles and business practices worldwide if we are to avoid global environmental collapse, young people will be faced with a turbulent and challenging world as they move into adulthood and make decisions about their own personal and professional futures. Their actions and voices in support of the changes that are needed to save the planet will be pivotal factors in whether the change is achieved in time, and in a positive way for those living through this transition. The School Strike for Climate movement has shown how powerful youth voice and action can be, and how urgently young people feel change is needed. It is vital that young people are given access to the most current information and evidence about the plight of our planet, so that they can direct their energies towards making the changes that will make a positive difference to the future.

WWF has created a range of resources and activities for schools and young people that build on Our Planet and ensure that the important subjects and messages in Our Planet can be accessed by a wide spectrum of young people around the world. We are empowering educators in primary and secondary schools to draw on the incredible wealth of free high-quality video resources on ourplanet.com to delve into the key issues of our time with their students. We are galvanising schools to confront and discuss the state of our planet as a community through assemblies and screenings. We are prompting young people outside school to pay attention to the natural world and ‘tune in’ to the reality and importance of biodiversity in their everyday life through our innovative nature ID app ‘Seek’. Last but not least we are supporting and enabling a growing movement of young people who want to play an active role in creating the future they want, but need information, skills and resources to do so.

INSPIRE

  • Bring the story of our planet to life for young people with the spectacular videos and interactive explorable globe available for free on www.OurPlanet.com. Take inspiration and guidance from the Our Planet educator guide, which includes ideas for sparking ideas, discussion and engagement with videos. Present to the whole school or even the wider community with the using the Our Planet Assembly Pack.

  • Take inspiration from young people who are already taking action to create a sustainable future for our planet – follow the Youth for Our Planet blog. www.youthforourplanet.com

CONNECT

ACT

  • Contribute to global citizen science when the Our Planet Biodiversity Action toolkit launches in June, and join a worldwide network of youth-led biodiversity action projects.

  • Put young people in the driving seat by running an Our Planet’s Future Summit for young people (11-16) and support young people to come up with a model for a sustainable future for our planet.

  • Speak up and add youth voice and pledges of action to the global movement to save our planet. https://www.ourplanet.com/en/voice/

YRE & YouthMundus

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FEE is partnering with Inner Voice Artists (IVA) to support YouthMundus - a new, environmentally conscious global short content and music festival, specifically designed for the world’s youth and inspired by the SDGs, which is taking place 14-24 November 2019 in Rome, Italy.

The festival is organised by Inner Voice Artists (IVA) - a global media and entertainment company whose mission is to inspire and help create more opportunities for underrepresented voices within the areas of film, television, music, commercials and endorsements. The company’s goal is to ensure equal representation, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, social status, age or language.

The three educational programmes of FEE (YRE, Eco-schools and LEAF) will assist the development of different festival activities, seminars and workshops related to education for sustainable development and will help encourage people to take environmental action during the festival.

YRE students will also participate in the festival where they will do interviews and report on the different events through articles, photos and videos.

YRE Hub – A new platform for students to share stories

As part of YRE’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations, we are happy to announce that we have created a new platform for the YRE network to share stories on an international level. It’s called YRE Hub: www.yrehub.global

The YRE Hub is an open space for YRE Students and Alumni to share their inspiring stories and showcase their work within the fields of sustainability and environment. It is also a place to find inspiration, express opinions, and connect with others.

We encourage students to share stories that are positive, constructive, well-researched and that inspire people to take action. It can be articles, photo stories or videos about local environmental issues, different SDGs, personal experiences as YRE or any other story that in some way contributes to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). We want to keep it open, positive and inspiring!

YRE is a special community of change makers and it’s a privilege to celebrate its 25 years of existence – I hope to celebrate many more years of fueling the curiosity of budding journalists to come.
— Allison Gacad, Canada, YRE Alumnus

How to publish a story on YRE Hub?

YRE Students and Alumni who want to publish a story can contact their National Operator and ask for the log-in details to the platform. They can then follow this step-by-step guide to share their story with the world.

Vinh Le and Allison Gacad from Canada have already shared two excellent stories on the Hub that can serve as inspiration:

We hope YRE Students and Alumni will welcome this new opportunity to share their work and help make it a success!

YRE forms partnership with Little Citizens For Climate

YRE International has formed a partnership with the non-profit association Little Citizens For Climate (LCFC). LCFC is affiliated to the federation of clubs for UNESCO and is also collaborating on a national level with our FEE member Teragir. The partnership will provide YRE students who are particularly interested in and concerned about climate change an additional platform to showcase their work.

The below paragraphs were written by LCFC to inform about the association and to explain how to participate.

ACT:

Children, and in particular those who live in the countries that are the most threatened by global warming, are heirs of an alarming ecological situation. We want to offer these children a space where they can express themselves, exchange and take action in order to give them a means to defend their rights, make their voices heard and take initiatives.

We encourage teachers, monitors, educators and parents who are interested in helping with this initiative to assist our children in creating a project relating to the current environmental urgency.

With the authorisation of their legal guardians, each step of the project should be filmed. We will complete the video editing and broadcast it on the following YouTube channel: Little Citizens for Climate. Projects can be done individually or in collaboration with other groups and in any country or language.

The children define themselves as an “Ecological Brigade” whose goal is to educate the adults.

EXCHANGE:

At the same time, each child will have the chance to meet other children from around the World under the supervision of young Ambassadors. These Ambassadors, ages 12 to 18, are particularly motivated and have a longstanding involvement in the defense of the Environment. They are dedicated to informing the younger children, empowering them and helping to motivate them in taking their own initiatives.

Our server is equipped with an automatic translation system so that language will not be a barrier in communication between the children. The environmental cause is universal.

LEARN:

At LITTLE CITIZENS FOR CLIMATE, we have noticed that existing pedagogical resources are created by adults, for children. However, we believe that cooperative learning is the best way for children to acquire a solid knowledge base. With their own words, approach and sensitivity a child will be best suited to find ways to relate to and communicate with peers concerning these topics so that, together, they can find solutions that are meaningful and accessible to them.

Today’s children are tomorrow’s adults and,through their role as Little Trainers on our website,they will be able to prepare for the challenges they will have to face in the future. The future of all living things is in their hands since the adults have failed to do their part.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

  • You can send us your videos with the topic of your choice as long as it respects the following criteria: it has young people as the main actors and it concerns the environment. We will take care of the editing and the writing of subtitles for the videos for you.

  • You can subscribe to our YouTube channel in order to stay updated on our latest broadcasts and help us share our channel and videos to children around the globe.

  • You can help us connect with other organizations or project leaders that may be interested in developing a partnership.

  • You can join our association.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT LCFC:

Website
Facebook

Litterati Launches Education Initiative

The below article was written by Litterati and shared here as an inspiration for schools and students who want to combat litter and help clean their communities.

Our planet faces many environmental problems. It often feels overwhelming and hard to know how we can make a difference. Well here’s one way you can. Join the Litterati - a global community that’s cleaning the planet - one piece of litter at a time. This mobile app (iOS & Android) allows anyone to identify, map, and collect litter in their community.

Litterati has launched an Educational Program that engages students, collects data, and drives environmental action aligned with 7 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Litter is tangible, approachable and easy to understand. Litterati’s Educational Program provides a service-learning model that involves students in a range of experiences which benefit their community, while advancing their classroom skills. The program empowers them to  build a more sustainable planet.

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In California, 7th and 8th grade students from Spencer Avenue Elementary School picked up and documented 2,902 pieces of litter in the Island Lake Conservation Area. The Litterati data revealed the prevalence of cigarette butts as well as more surprising discarded objects, including shopping carts, couch cushions, and even a lawnmower. Litterati helped students understand the negative impact littering can have on  their community; a message they shared at a schoolwide assembly. The students also sent letters to neighborhood businesses, offering suggestions about what they could do to improve their litter footprints. (read more)

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Arturo Soria school in Madrid used Litterati during an end-of-course activity,  cleaning up local parks near their school. Thanks to the Litterati app they were able tag, track and log the litter they collected. From the data and maps they created, the students analyzed the problem and proposed several solutions to the local community. Some involved making posters, pins and artwork to raise awareness. Other solutions required asking local businesses to install ashtrays. Students then wrote letters to the municipal cleaning services suggesting how they could pitch in and help. (read more)

It's easy to get started:

  1. Download the iOS or Android app

  2. Create a club for your class or school

  3. Invite your students to join the club

  4. Photograph a piece of litter

  5. Recycle or throw out the piece of litter. (Repeat steps 4 & 5)

Each photo is full of data. Geotags map problem areas. Timestamps indicate when we see specific types of litter. And tags identify the most commonly found brands and products. This data can then be used to influence product innovation, sustainable packaging, and educating consumer behaviour. We all have a role to play.

Litterati has been featured at TED, is supported by the National Science Foundation, and in partnership with the United Nations Environment.

Download the Litterati app today and join the movement. Individually you can make a difference. Together we create an impact. If you want more information contact us at support@litterati.org

PRESS RELEASE: Young Reporters for the Environment celebrates 25th Anniversary

This year Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) celebrates its 25th anniversary as an international programme run by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). In 1994, Luxembourg became the first country to officially implement the YRE programme and today it engages more than 350.000 young reporters in 38 countries across the world.

”YRE is an absolutely fantastic programme because it not only involves youth in important environmental and sustainable issues, but it also gives them tools that enables them to present news in a structured and knowledgeable manner. In this way, YRE provides the path from critical thinking to critical expression.” says Daniel Schaffer, CEO of Foundation for Environmental Education.

The Young Reporters for the Environment programme aims to empower young people aged 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video.

”The past 25 years, YRE has become perhaps more relevant, as the world’s environmental reality has become more dire, and a war on science and on truth has surfaced. By continuing to train young minds to think critically, act locally, and engage globally, YRE continues to plant a powerful seed for tomorrow, spreading knowledge through the many young influencers coming through its ranks, from all over the world."  says P.J. Marcellino, filmmaker, YRE Jury member and former YRE student.

YRE’s 25th Anniversary will be celebrated throughout 2019 with different activities. As part of this, a special 1-minute Video Competition was launched. YRE students and Alumni from around the world have submitted videos that aim to reflect the essence of the programme. A total of 25 videos have been selected and will be shared on social media throughout 2019. The top 3 videos will be awarded by the end of the year.

This month a new international YRE Blog / Press Corner will also be launched. It will function as an open platform for YRE Students, Alumni and the YRE Network to share their stories on sustainable and environmental issues. The platform is meant to serve as a press corner where inspiring articles, videos, and photo stories will be available for the wider public.

“Both the competition and the blog are meant to give YRE students more opportunities to express their opinions and show off their creativity and passion for the environment.” concludes Malgorzata Luszczek, International YRE Director.

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About YRE – ‘Giving our environment a voice’

The Young Reporters for the Environment programme aims to empower young people aged 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video. The programme is based on a four-step methodology which seeks to develop students’ critical thinking and expression, creativity and leadership skills. Every year the top YRE investigations have the chance to participate in the annual YRE competition and to be assessed by professional juries on national and international levels. The programme also gives Young Reporters the opportunity to participate in international environmental conferences to further develop their skills and network.

Website: www.yre.global

 

About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

With members in 76 countries we are the world’s largest environmental education organisation. Through our five ground breaking programmes, we help communities realise the benefits of sustainable living. Recognised by UNESCO as a world leader within the fields of Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). 

Website: www.fee.global

Special 1-Minute Video Competition - List of Nominees

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To celebrate YRE’s 25th Anniversary, a special 1-Minute Video Competition was launched. YRE Students and Alumni from around the world have submitted videos that aim to reflect the essence of the programme. A total of 25 videos have been selected and will be shared on the YRE Facebook page throughout 2019 and three winning videos will be found by the end of the year.


Publishing the nominated videos on Facebook

The 25 videos will be published on the YRE Facebook page in random order. The first video will be uploaded on the 23rd of January 2019 at 15:00 CEST. After exactly 12 days, the number of likes will be noted and another video will be uploaded and so on, until all 25 videos have been published.

Finding the three winning videos

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be found in the following way:

The video that receives the most likes on Facebook will receive 12 points, the second-most liked will receive 11 points and so on. Only likes on the original post uploaded by YRE International will be counted so remember to visit the YRE Facebook page. You are highly encouraged to vote for videos that have not been made in your own country.

Once all the videos have been published, the YRE National Operators will be given the opportunity to vote. They are free to give 1-12 points to any of the 25 videos - except videos from their own country.

In the end, the 3 videos with most points will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards.

Many congratulations to all of the nominees! We look forward to sharing your videos throughout 2019!

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The 25 nominees listed by country:
(The videos will be published on Facebook in random order)

  1. Canada: What is YRE to me?

  2. China: Guardian Little Messenger

  3. China: Silver Chain League

  4. China: Green Lighting

  5. China: Blue Sky and Blue Water! Protection starts at school!

  6. China: YRE-Be Active Actors of Beautiful China

  7. Greece: 25 Years of History

  8. Israel: What do you do with your electronic-waste?

  9. Israel: We care

  10. Israel: Work it out

  11. Italy: The environment game in my neighbourhood

  12. Malta: YRE Malta

  13. Montenegro: From contest to volontere

  14. Montenegro: We can all together

  15. Portugal: My experience as a YRE

  16. Portugal: 25 Videos for 25 years of YRE

  17. Portugal: YRE - “opening new opportunities for my life”

  18. Portugal: You…Listen!

  19. Portugal: YRE: A Mission for Life

  20. Slovakia: YRE Slovakia: We're going further!

  21. Slovakia: Blowing in the Wind

  22. Slovakia: Reducing Waste - Pass it Forward

  23. Slovakia: Slovakia Mladi reporteri

  24. Turkey: Right Waste, Right Place

  25. Turkey: Makroproblem, Mikroplastic

Looking back at COP 24 - Young Reporters' Perspectives

Six inspiring young people got the unique chance to work as Young Reporters at COP 24 in Poland last month. All of them found the conference to be inspiring, educational and a little overwhelming. Nevertheless, they did an amazing job conducting interviews, attending sessions and representing the YRE programme at this highly important conference on climate change. Below are the personal accounts of three of the participants, Martina, Wesley and Kristin, who all look back at the COP with gratitude and renewed inspiration.

Visit Exposure to see all the articles and interviews created by the Young Reporters during COP 24.

Martina Mifsud, Malta:

I went into COP24 anxious, nervous and on edge.
I came out of COP24 ecstatic, enriched and fulfilled.

COP24 was easily one of those priceless experiences that you can never really replace. It was a week filled with knowledge sharing, opinion discussing, and idea shaping. And it was only possible through the active participation of each of the 20,000 observers, panelists, youth activists and NGO representatives. Collectively, it was a goldmine, bringing together so many different people under one roof (except when the sessions were in area G, because that was at the other end of the planet).

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Everyone; from young to old, from developed and developing countries, gender and ethnicity disregarded, had the opportunity to participate and voice our opinion, and the thing which truly impressed me was the receptiveness of the people, and they were not shy to say what was on their mind. Of course, not everyone agreed to everything that was said, but everyone respected what was said. There were sessions with great speakers and not so great speakers, but the information available was all rich and useful. Even the observers themselves spoke out, asked questions, argued frugally when needed and discussed opinions. It was one whole body at COP, and no one was left outside the circle. Not the shy last-row observer during the first session, not the easily judged indigenous woman during the second session, not the speaker discussing so openly about things usually hushed in the third session, and, most definitely, not us three young reporters, who formed an inseparable bond during those five days, and who together with our dearest Kristina, represented YRE International for the said week. COP was filled with good people with good intentions, each keen to share knowledge and spread positivity (and, where needed, potential defeatism).

I do not have words which sum up my experience- and I am absolutely thrilled that I was the first Maltese person given this opportunity to represent my country at COP. There is nothing which I can use to describe how this week has been for me- except that I feel that it will have an impact on all of my future decisions. I would like to wholeheartedly thank Young Reporters for the Environment International for the opportunity, Ms. Audrey Gauci for being there from day one, our dearest Ms. Kristina Madsen for her patience and much needed help during that week, and my fellow reporters; Lovely from Canada, and Wesley from Singapore. It would not have been possible without you!

Wesley Poh, Singapore:

Looking back, my experience at COP24 has been incredibly memorable. There was nothing I had done in the past or could have done prior to arriving in Katowice to fully prepare myself for the level of activity going on at the conference — there was always a side event going on, an interesting session on the intersection between climate change and one of the many other scourges of humanity being held, a networking event to meet and learn from inspiring activists all over the world and countless interview opportunities as you walk down the numerous hallways around the venue.

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Yet, even amidst the madness, I find myself having grown so much both as a budding environmental reporter and simply as an informed, global citizen of the world. At the conference, because our party of YRE reporters was constrained to a small number of three individuals, I had no other choice but to be forthcoming in asking extremely distinguished panelists questions about their views. The stresses of the environment also meant that when I did manage to get interviews, I had to conduct them with a discerning mind by asking insightful questions to get the most of the short amount of time we had together. This in my view made the experience at COP24 a lot more meaningful than the capacity building training we had in Lisbon eight months ago as I could not rely on the work of my teammates if I encountered difficulties. In a way, I’d like to think that if you as a journalist survive COP, then that in itself is a huge achievement. In my view, not much else is harder than covering COP as a young reporter for the environment.

Finally, the experience at COP24 has undeniably broadened my mind. It has taught me to analyse issues holistically and to avoid using reductionist tendencies like oversimplifying complex problems just for the sake of easy understanding.  For instance, I had initially planned to do one article solely on climate change and poverty, and the other solely on climate change and gender equality. Within the first two days of the conference however, it became glaringly apparent that the interactions between such issues cannot be cleanly defined. There is no absolute division between the problems of poverty and access to water; nor between indigenous rights and loss of biodiversity or between health and gender equality. The realities are a lot more complicated than most of us are comfortable with, but this should not intimidate us.

Krakow and Katowice now have a special place in my heart, and shout-out to my ridiculously capable groupmates Lovely and Martina for always being there when things got a little too overwhelming. I’d also like to thank Kristina, who was always very supportive in guiding us throughout the four full days. Of course, I am indebted to YRE for giving me this unparalleled opportunity.

As I leave Poland today, I do so with a nourished mind, a full heart, and an inspired spirit.

Kristin Rodrigo, Canada:


FEE & YRE at COP 24

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and YRE International are once again highly active at the COP. Every year our engagement grows and we are proud to be part of this highly important conference and to contribute to the discussions and actions to help mitigate and adapt to Climate Change.

Together with UNFCCC and UNESCO, FEE is organizing two special events at COP 24:

Youth Training Workshop on Constructive Journalism

5 December, 15:00-16:30 I Climate Action Room 2

The workshop aims to equip participants with the skills to create stories in Climate Change that will initiate positive action. The event will be run by Gosia Luszczek (YRE International Director). Quinn Kanaly and Noel Dockstader (Directors of Point of No Return) are invited as guest speakers.

Round Table Discussion on Climate Change Education (CCE) Challenges

13 December, 15:30-17:30 I Climate Action Room 2

The aim of the Round Table Discussion is to develop a set of recommendations that is actionable by different stakeholders and will contribute to the implementation of ACE. Daniel Schaffer (CEO of FEE) will moderate the event and Pramod Sharma (Senior Director of Education) along with invited experts will contribute with their knowledge on the topic.

NB. The events are by invitation only. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to kristina@fee.global with a brief note.

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Young Reporters at COP 24

YRE International is also sending six young reporters to participate in the COP. They will be reporting on the events and creating journalistic pieces on topics related to climate change.

Read more about them here.

YRE student at Piece Summit of Emerging Leaders in Bangkok

Yoorha Kang from South Korea will travel to Thailand to participate in the inaugural Piece Summit of Emerging Leaders which is taking place in Bangkok from 28th to 30th of November. The conference is organized by Humanitarian Affairs Asia and aims to gather 500 young leaders from different parts of the world and give them an understanding and broader perspective on the vitally important subject of Peace.

In addition to being a regular participant in the conference, Yoorha will work as a young reporter preparing an article and a video on specific topics of interests. Her journalistic pieces will be published on YRE Exposure in the beginning of December. She will also be making posts for our social media platforms so remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Read more about Yoorha in her short biography below.

“I was an observer in the past, but now I’m an action-oriented person believing what I’m doing really can make our world more sustainable”

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My name is yoorha Kang from South Korea. I am a graduate student majoring in biomedical science at Seoul National University. Since I was young, I’ve wanted to become a scientist who can devote oneself to prosperity of humanity by prolonging the human’s lifespan and seeking the way to make the world better. I thought that those goals can only be achieved by studying medicine and biology. That’s why I decided to major in biology. However, every spring people in South Korea suffered from microdust. Every morning, people checked the level of microdust in the air via application or news and always carried masks for protecting them from microdust which causes oneself severe diseases in pulmonary or Bronchus. Besides microdust, various environmental problems due to excessive development are happening literally everywhere and this makes me realize that what we are facing now is just the tip of the iceberg and we need to take action before it become deteriorating.

Since then my interest in the environment has become bigger and bigger, which finally led me to work for FEE KOREA. I’ve been involved in FEE KOREA over 1 year and now I’m in charge of Eco-Schools Korea and really enjoy what I do. Working in a FEE changes who I am. I was an observer in the past, but now I’m action-oriented person believing what I’m doing really can make our world more sustainable and now I have no doubt that Environment can be a golden key which leads us to a better world that I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl.

This time, I luckily could have a wonderful opportunity to be nominated as representative of YRE and will attend Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders 2018 held in Bangkok. On behalf of YRE international, I want to share our enthusiasm towards environment with other delegates and play the role as a catalyst to improve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).         

YRE's 25th Anniversary: Special 1-Minute Video Competition

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2019 will mark 25 years of the International YRE programme, and we would like your help to celebrate our 25th anniversary! We are challenging our YRE students and alumni from around the world to develop catchy one-minute videos highlighting what YRE is all about. This is a great opportunity to show off what our passionate YRE youth can do!

As a competition participant, you get the chance to share your knowledge of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the YRE programme. You also get to improve your journalistic, creative, and critical thinking skills, and to showcase local positive sustainable development activities to a global audience. We will present the winning videos over the course of 2019 in conjunction with our other 25th anniversary activities.

We are looking for 25 winning videos that address at least one of the following topics:

  • YRE as a programme
    Tell the story of YRE, its goals and steps, how to become a Young Reporter etc.

  • The 17 Sustainable Development Goals
    Inform about one or more of the SDGs and show how to address them through practical activities

  • YRE and positive Sustainable Development actions
    Show some of the activities taken by YRE to protect the environment, e.g. collecting litter or other campaigns

  • Your experience with YRE
    Show how he programme has influenced your life

  • YRE at Missions, conferences, events, etc.

  • An interesting example of sustainable development activities
    E.g. from your town, school, neighbourhood, etc.

Submission Requirements

  • The video should present the joy of the programme and the passion of Young Reporters (YOU!)

  • Don’t forget that YRE is about people and for people. We aim to make a positive change, so show us story about people. This is an opportunity to show a story about the people building the YRE network and the emotions that drive YRE as programme on education on sustainable development.

  • The video should be maximum 1 minute in length

  • The video must be in a form compatible with YouTube

Prizes

We will announce the 25 winning videos on 18 January 2019. Winners will receive a certificate and their videos will be published on YRE websites, social media, and newsletters. Many YRE countries will also publish the videos on their national platforms.  

The creators of the three best videos will be awarded with photo devices, like a GoPro camera, video camera, or photo camera. The three winning videos will be determined by votes from YRE National Operators and by likes on social media. We will announce the top three winners at the end of the 25th anniversary year, in January 2020. 

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is 18 December 2018. The submission form and the original file should be sent directly to YRE International (kristina@fee.global) either through WeTransfer or Google Drive.

Declaration of consent for processing of personal information and use of video submitted

When signing up to this competition, you agree that we can process your personal data provided in this submission form and given to us during the competition. We process the data so that we can register your participation, judge the submission and save what you have submitted and publish your submission if you are chosen as a winner. All winners will be saved in our archives.

You always have the option to withdraw your consent and your submission to the competition.

The Data Controller is:

Foundation for Environmental Education
Scandiagade 13, 2450 Copenhagen SV, DENMARK
+45 70 22 24 27
info@fee.global

Photos from the UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission held in Almada, Portugal in 2018. Groups of Young Reporters went out on a rainy day to investigate local environmental issues and initiatives. They did not let the weather get in the way of good footage and interviews!

Sasha Karajovic elected as member of FEE Board of Directors

At the FEE General Assembly which took place in Latvia on 13-14 September, Sasha Karajovic was elected to become part of the FEE Board of Directors and he is now the Board Member, Political Responsible for the YRE programme until 2020.

Sasha Karajovic has been a member of the non-governmental organization "ECOM – Environmental Consultancy of Montenegro" since 2001, and at the end of 2002 he became the coordinator of international projects in this NGO.

Sasha started Blue Flag in 2003 and YRE in 2008. The last two years he has been engaged in launching the Green Key programme. In addition, Sasha is executive director of ECOM.

Parallel to activities in the NGO, he is also a journalist - an associate of the local public radio service Kotor.

Sasha is working for ECOM on a fully volunteer base and in his professional life, as an expert, he has more than 25 years of experience in spatial and urban planning; environmental, nature and cultural heritage protection and coastal area management.

Sasha is also a multi-year consultant to ministries and several municipalities in Montenegro for the field of planning and environmental protection, as well as international organisations UNDP, GIZ and ERM.

Exclusive online interview with the filmmakers of POINT OF NO RETURN

On Thursday the 27th of September, YRE International has set up an exclusive online interview with Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly - the filmmakers of the fascinating documentary POINT OF NO RETURN which follows the first solar-powered flight around the world. YRE students, alumni and national operators have been invited to participate in the interview, with the chance of speaking directly with two highly inspiring and professional filmmakers.

The online interview will consist of two parts:

  1. A screening of selected scenes from POINT OF NO RETURN (30 minutes)

  2. Interview with the filmmakers (30 minutes)

After the interview, the participating students are expected to write a short article sharing the knowledge they gained. The best articles will be shared on the YRE Exposure page.

SYNOPSIS POINT OF NO RETURN chronicles one of the most suspenseful and pioneering scientific adventure stories of the 21st century, following two pilots in their attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane fueled exclusively by sunlight. Their mission: to prove the potential of clean technology and to inspire hearts and minds. To achieve their goal, they must push themselves and their team of engineers and meteorologists far beyond their limits. 

Thirteen years ago, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschbergbegan building what many experts said was impossible: a solar-powered airplane capable of flying day and night. With the wingspan of a 747 jet and the weight of a car, Solar Impulse is extremely fragile; high winds or turbulence can snap the wings in two. But the 26,000-mile journey tests more than their technology. In an unheated, unpressurized cockpit, the 5-day solo flight across the Pacific Ocean becomes a feat of endurance unlike any other in aviation history. 

Technical failures, unplanned landings, and stormy weather put the entire mission in jeopardy and drain the spirits of the team. To succeed, both Piccard, a psychiatrist and balloonist, and Borschberg, an engineer and jet fighter pilot, must set aside their differences, and go against the advice of their engineers.  POINT OF NO RETURN explores what it takes to do something truly groundbreaking, and how their journey captivated people around the world who came out to see the plane land in their cities, and watched live from their computers at home. It’s a story of hope, courage, and perseverance that gets to the heart of what it will take to solve the biggest environmental threat humans have ever faced.

Photos and quotes from: http://pointofnoreturndoc.com/

Photos and quotes from: http://pointofnoreturndoc.com/

DIRECTORS BIO

Creative partners for over a decade, filmmakers Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly tell thought-provoking, impactful stories about science, history and exploration. When they learned of Solar Impulse’s audacious zero-fuel flight, they knew it had the potential to be one of the most important pioneering adventures of our time—and they felt compelled to capture it. Over ten months, Noel and Quinn found themselves on opposite sides of the world, tracking the unfolding drama both on the tarmac and at mission control—connected only by their cell phones and a shared vision for the film, Point of No Return.

Prior to embarking on Point of No Return, Dockstader and Kanaly’s collaborative works at Far Wes Film (San Francisco, CA) have been broadcast in the US and internationally on National Geographic, Discovery, Smithsonian, and PBS. Previous films include Extreme Ice for PBS/NOVA, following photographer James Balog as he photographed melting glaciers and ice sheets around the world, and Collapse, a two-hour special for National Geographic about environmental impacts on the collapse of civilizations, based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jared Diamond. 

For more information about the film, visit the website of POINT OF NO RETURN.

New Lesson Plans on Litter and Waste

During the FEE General Assembly on 13-14 September, Gosia Luszczek and Boris Susmak announced the launch of a new set of inspiring lesson plans which have been developed to assist the aims of the Litter Less Campaign. The material will be particularly useful for the 15 countries participating in the Campaign, however, any teacher wishing to educate his/her students on the issue of litter and waste are free to use the resources. After a trial period of one year, the lesson plans will be revised and adjusted based on feedback from schools and National Operators.

The lesson plans have been created for the YRE and Eco Schools programmes (respectively) and can be downloaded here:
Lesson Plans for YRE
Lesson Plans for Eco-Schools

The lesson plans were created by Centre for Environment Education (CEE India) with support from FEE and the material was sponsored by Wrigley Company Foundation.

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PRESS RELEASE: Launch of the YRE International Competition 2019

Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Kristina Madsen, International YRE Coordinator | E: kristina@fee.global


Do you feel passionate about the environment? Do you want to investigate environmental issues and solutions? Then join the International Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Competition 2019 by writing an article, submitting a photo, or making a video. The winning entries will be published internationally on the online platform Medium and on the YRE website!
 
The International YRE Competition is open to students aged 11-25 from the 34 countries running the YRE programme. Students first have to compete in the National YRE Competition in their respective country and be selected as a national winner before being sent onwards to the International Competition.

For detailed information about the Competition, visit the YRE Competition page

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The International YRE Competition consists of three different categories:

International Competition

Open to all countries and all themes, except for the litter theme for countries participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Countries that are not participating in the Campaign, can still submit entries related to the litter problem.

Litter Less Campaign

The theme must be related to litter. This category is open to countries that are involved in the Litter Less Campaign: New Zealand, China, India, Israel, Wales, Spain, Northern Ireland, and Ireland.
*Please note that the submissions under the theme of Litter from Litter Less Campaign countries will be evaluated separately, and the winners will receive recognition with a certificate.

International Collaboration

Open to all countries with three recommended themes from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 11-Sustainable Cities, 12-Responsible Consumption & Production, 13-Climate Action.
The submission must be a collaborative work between two countries and (as something new!) the entry can be an “Article”, a “Photo Reportage of 3 photos” or a “Video”. Read more here.

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The Sustainable Development Goals through the YRE Competition
 
YRE is in the process of integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) into the YRE Competition. Therefore, participants are obliged to reflect on the link between their entry and one or more SDGs. This reflection can be included as a part of the journalistic piece or it can be a short additional text which is added to the registration form when uploading the entry. Remember that an environmental lens is always required, also when a social or economic SDG is chosen as a topic of investigation.

PRESS RELEASE: The Litter Less Campaign - Seven Years of Positive Change

 The Litter Less Campaign

Seven Years of Positive Change

The latest phase of the campaign reached 357,516 students from 546 schools across 15 countries and marks changes in students’ perceptions, behaviour about litter

In September 2018, the Litter Less Campaign will enter its eighth year and since its inception has engaged over 2 million students around the world.

The Litter Less Campaign is a joint initiative between the Wrigley Company Foundation and Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that aims to educate young people about the issues surrounding litter, to encourage them to make positive waste disposal choices, and to inspire them to engage their communities in anti-litter activities.

An overall evaluation of the campaign’s impact indicates students’ awareness, knowledge and behaviour has grown by over 10%. This is a very significant educational improvement considering the Litter Less Campaign is a relatively condensed and inexpensive project for schools to implement.

The main objectives of the Litter Less Campaign are to:

  • Raise awareness of how litter and waste affect the local environment

  • Improve the way students and schools approach waste management

  • Give young people the knowledge and practical skills to prevent and manage litter

  • Provide students with a platform to report on litter issues in their communities

  • Encourage collaboration and the sharing of best practices between schools

  • Involve the local community to actively address the issue of litter

The Wrigley Company Foundation is proud of the positive transformation that has occurred in schools and communities around the world through the Litter Less Campaign. Teaching students to be leaders and to work to change littering behaviour and improve their communities is the strength of the programme,” says Anne Vela-Wagner, Executive Director of the Wrigley Company Foundation.

The Wrigley Company Foundation and FEE have already completed seven successful years of collaboration and during the past year analysis shows a positive change in Eco-Schools students’ awareness of litter and waste issues in 30% of the population, when compared with control students. Additionally, positive change in YRE students’ knowledge about waste production, fate and recycling improved by 21% when compared with control students.

“The Litter Less Campaign is a textbook example of how positive collaboration between the corporate world and a respected NGO can realize a shared vision. We highly appreciate the long-term partnership with the Wrigley Company Foundation and we are extremely grateful for the possibility of moving the Litter Less Campaign forward. Their strong commitment and support cannot be taken for granted,” adds CEO of the Foundation for Environmental Education Daniel Schaffer.

About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
With members in 77 countries around the world, FEE’s programmes represent the cutting edge in Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education. It is the vision of the Foundation for Environmental Education that its programmes empower people everywhere to live sustainably and in an environmentally conscious manner.

About the Wrigley Company Foundation
The Wrigley Company Foundation has awarded more than $70 million USD since its establishment in 1987. With a focus on oral health, the environment, particularly litter prevention education, and improving Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s site and sourcing communities, it works to build brighter futures around the world.

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Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director
Foundation for Environmental Education
E: gosia@fee.global