Young Champions of the Earth

You want to change the world? We’re here to help.

Young Champions of the Earth is a forward-looking prize designed to breathe life into the ambitions of brilliant young environmentalists.

“Because of CoalitionWILD and the Young Champions of the Earth, my project, Nativus, has gained credibility locally where industry and policymakers are starting to acknowledge the importance of generating green spaces in the city.

It also has helped me to share my idea internationally and get in contact with more people and projects – joining forces to keep learning and shaping this work. This has been an amazing opportunity that keeps opening doors to create a positive impact in the world.”

2017 Young Champion of the Earth
Founder Nativus

A partnership between CoalitionWILD and the UN Environment, Young Champions of the Earth (#YoungChamps) aims to celebrate and support individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact. Along with receiving the prestigious award, winners receive seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentorship to help bring big environmental ideas to life.

Meet the 2019 Young Champions of the Earth

Omar Itani, Lebanon

FabricAID collects, sorts, and redistributes clothes to disadvantaged communities at micro-prices (ranging from 0.3$ to a maximum of 2$). Our goal is to deliver good quality clothing into the hands of people who need them, while also reducing fabric waste.

Read Omar’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Anna Luisa Beserra, Brazil

Aqualuz is an innovative filter which purifies rainwater collected in a cistern installed in rural areas where running water is not accessible, a situation which affects more than a million people in Brazil. The water in the cistern is purified using rays from the sun. An indicator changes color when the water is safe to drink.

Read Anna Luisa’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Adjany Costa, Angola
Protecting the Okavango Delta

As communities return to the land, protecting the Miombo woodland which traps water and nurtures rich biodiversity is critical to protect environmental degradation. Adjany’s solution is to work with the Luchaze community in the Eastern Angolan highlands, threatened by unsustainable livelihood practices following the country’s three-decade-long civil war which ended in 2002, as well as clearing of Miombo woodland once landmines are removed to repossess and protect the eco-system.

Read Adjany’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Marianna Muntianu
Plant The Forest

Russia is home to 19% of the world’s forest reserves by surface area. Russian forests sequester an estimated 300 and 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. But record wild fires threaten critical biodiversity and global carbon sequestration potential. Marianna’s solution, developed with partners from Expo Live Dubai, is a game combining virtual reality with restoration efforts on the ground. As players have been growing their virtual forest, they have, in parallel, restored 400,000 trees in 17 regions of Russia to date.

Read Marianna’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Molly Burhans

GoodLands is mobilizing the Catholic Church to use her land for good. We provide the information and tools to help the Church use her property wisely to enhance all her existing ministries and missions — to care for creation, to end homelessness, to welcome the stranger, to deliver programs and services to the right places and at the right times, and to support her own fiscal sustainability. 

Read Molly’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Louise Mabulo, Philippines 
The Cacao Project

The Cacao Project, has trained over 200 farmers in agroforestry techniques in the Philippines, planting more than 70,000 trees across 70 hectares of land and restoring land devastated during Typhoon Ngoc Ten of 2016. She has also established a Culinary Lounge to source high-value ingredients from local farmers and encourage home-grown food.

Read Louise’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Sonika Manandhar, Nepal
Green Energy Mobility (GEM)

Green Energy Mobility, aims to make public transportation, specifically electric minibuses in Nepal known as Safa tempos, a quality alternative to private vehicles to combat climate change. Since Safa tempos are well-known for being women-owned, her work embraces female empowerment by providing drivers with access to loans and women as customers with a method of clean and safe transport after 8 p.m. when most public transport in Kathmandu ends.

Read Sonika’s full story on the UN Environment webpage.

Past Young Champions of the Earth

Miao Wang, China
2018 Young Champion of the Earth
Better Blue

Arpit Dhupar, India
2018 Young Champion of the Earth
Chakra Innovation

Hugh Weldon, Ireland
2018 Young Champion of the Earth

Heba Al-Farra, Kuwait
2018 Young Champion of the Earth
Women in Energy and Environment

Miranda Wang, United States
2018 Young Champion of the Earth

Gator Halpern, Bahamas
2018 Young Champion of the Earth
Coral Vita

Shady Rabab, Egypt
2018 Young Champion of the Earth
Rabab Luxor – Garbage Music

Liliana Jaramillo, Ecuador
2017 Young Champion of the Earth

Adam Dixon, United Kingdom
2017 Young Champion of the Earth

Kaya Dorey, Canada
2017 Young Champion of the Earth
Novel Supply Co.

Mariama Mamane, Niger
2017 Young Champion of the Earth

Eritai Kateibwi, Kiribati
2017 Young Champion of the Earth
Te Maeu Project

Omer Badokhon, Yemen
2017 Young Champion of the Earth
Biogas From Waste


The Young Champions of the Earth Award celebrates and supports seven environmental leaders between 18 – 30 years old who have outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact.
Each year, seven young people are selected from each region of the world to receive seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentoring to bring their big ideas to life. #YoungChamps are artists, scientists, economists, communicators, and entrepreneurs.
Being a #YoungChamp is more than an honorary title. The Award nurtures the next generation of environmental leaders and connects them to a community of passionate and committed colleagues and experts.
Learn more on the UN Environment Young Champions website. 










The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

UN Environment’s work includes assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends; developing international and national environmental instruments; and strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment.

UN Environment’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage 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.

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