For the last 12 years young people have been entering the Volvo Adventure, a youth award run in partnership with UNEP, supported by UNESCO and endorsed by the World Organisation Scout Movement.
By Wayne Talbot, CEC member
Last year the top prize project explored how to control mosquitoes carrying Dengue fever by using lemonade bottles in Paraguay. The second prize project examined the impacts of rural pesticide use in Brazil. The third prize winners involved young people providing a way to prevent prescription drugs entering river ecosystems in the USA.
We are now looking for this year’s crop of projects demonstrating how young people are inheriting their own solutions to environmental problems. Visit our website here >>
The award has been developing and growing over the years to become a showcase of successful projects run by 13-16 year olds, working in teams of 2-5 people. These groups are identifying local issues then identifying solutions before implementing them. The projects range from those that are simple to recreate such as organic vegetable gardens in the UK, to more involved activities including snail aquaculture leading to wetland restoration in Mexico, or planting Burr Oaks and helping to ensure their continued existence in Canada. We do add the extra incentives of an award or commendation for those projects that are showing remarkable progress and impact. We're also looking at producing a publication to mark the end of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development showcasing the practical ways young people are inheriting solutions.
Currently this year’s trawl for the best projects is underway and having been at the IUCN conference in Korea, I’m aware of the variety of projects that could be eligible and want to show the variety, diversity and impacts of youth led biodiversity projects. We’d like to invite you to register eligible teams at http://www.volvoadventure.org/. If they are not working in English there are translated guidelines and we are asking groups to work in those languages and use translation software to finish their entry for the judges. Once registered simply download the guidelines, go to the publishing tool and enter your project on line.
For students this could be an opportunity to become part of an international network engaged in solving rather than talking about environmental problems. It could be an adventure that offers a chance to make new friends all over the world and attract international recognition for their project. Individually, young people have benefited from participating as it supported job and college applications, given opportunities to attend U.N. conferences. For us it’s a chance to recognise and show how young people are part of the solution to biodiversity loss and an opportunity for their projects to be included in U.N. publications. I hope we get to see more bioidiveristy porejcts in the project gallery this year.