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United Nations Environment Program Young Champions of the Earth Awards 2024

Applications for the Young Champions of the Earth awards are now open. Apply Now!!!

Young Champions of the Earth is the flagship youth engagement initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Humanity is using the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to maintain our way of life, and nature cannot keep up. The ocean is drowning in plastics, rivers are polluted, forests are burning, and farmland soil is drying out.

With Young Champions of the Earth – the UN’s most prestigious award for environmental action by young people – we are looking for young changemakers with pathbreaking ideas and solutions that showcase nature’s potential in addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste.

Aim and Benefits 

The award is bestowed annually to ambitious young people from around the world with outstanding ideas to protect and restore the environment.

Each winner will receive:

  1. Mentorship, capacity building workshops and access to a UN community of experts
  2. An introduction to dignitaries at the Young Champions of the Earth award ceremony
  3. Publicity and recognition through interviews and online and global media
  4. US$20,000 in seed-funding

The 2024 Young Champions of the Earth will be required to share their journeys through videos and blogs on this website for up to one year. If you have at least 6 months experience working on a big idea to protect or restore the environment and will be aged between 18 and 30 on 31 December 2024, you are eligible to apply.

The community

More than just an honorary title, the Young Champions of the Earth prize aims to nurture the next generation of environmental leaders. Applicants who demonstrate a strong willingness to learn will be granted access to mentoring and skill-building opportunities and to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and experts.


In 2024, Young Champions of the Earth will be selected, one from each global region: Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, West Asia and two from Asia and the Pacific.  

  • To be eligible to enter the Young Champions of the Earth competition (hereafter referred to as “the Competition”), applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Additionally, each applicant must have at least six months of prior experience working on their environmental project.
  • Individuals who submitted applications in previous cycles of the Competition are entitled to do so again. However, only one entry is allowed per person per year.
  • Employees of CoalitionWILD, any other Competition partners, the United Nations Environment Programme (hereafter referred to as "UNEP”) and the immediate family members of such employees are not eligible to participate in the Competition, either as applicants or as sponsors. The term “immediate family” of such employees includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws” or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household as such employees, whether or not they are related to them.

Interview date, Process and Venue 

In the first stage of the selection process, all applications will be judged by United Nations experts according to the following criteria:

  1. The 3 Ps – The positive impact your big idea could have on the environment (planet), society (people) and its financial viability (prosperity).
  2. The 3 Cs – Evidence that you are a curious, courageous and colourful individual.
  3. Demonstrated commitment – It is important that you have already attempted to implement your big idea for at least six months and can outline achievements and developments to date.
  4. Endorsement – The strength of your referee’s recommendation.

Application Deadline

April 5, 2024

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to United Nations on to apply

For more details visit: UNEP website.

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