WWF and IUCN launch new green on-line community for youth, supported by Nokia

Two of the world’s largest environmental organizations, WWF and IUCN, supported by Nokia, are launching connect2earth.org for young people to tell the world what they think about the environment


Gland, Switzerland, and Espoo, Finland, 4 March, 2008 (IUCN, WWF and Nokia) – A new online community where young people can have their say on the environment by uploading videos, pictures and comments is being launched today.

The site, www.connect2earth.org, will also allow people to rank other entries, discuss the issues that matter most to them, and share smart ideas and solutions from their own communities. Each month users will vote on a winner who will be rewarded with a Nokia mobile phone.

The overall winner, selected by a panel of prominent conservationists, will get the chance to participate in the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona this October and present his or her ideas directly to political, environmental and business leaders from around the world.

As mobile phones become an increasingly popular way to access the internet and online communities, the connect2earth site is optimized for using mobile phones to create short films, capture photos and submit comments.

IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre said: “We live on an amazing planet – we need to protect it. We want to encourage young people to be involved in environmental issues and take action. With connect2earth they have the chance to influence real decision makers.”

James Leape, Director General of WWF International, said: “connect2earth is a truly global space for young people to connect, share, express their concerns and their hopes about the environment online - and win some prizes in the process. This new community allows them to tell the world why they care about the environment and why it should be protected.”

Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Nokia, said: “Young people feel increasingly strongly about protecting the environment because, for them, it represents their future. We wanted to support WWF and IUCN in this exciting initiative to create a way for young people to express and share their ideas and connect with their peers in a new way.”

The website is aimed at people aged between 13 and 35. Visit www.connect2earth.org with your PC or mobile phone and start changing the world now!

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Halls, IUCN Media Relations Officer, Tel: +41 22 999 0127; Mobile: +41 79 528 3486;
Email: sarah.hallsnoneiucn.org

Moira O'Brien-Malone , Head of Media Relations, WWF International, Tel.: +41 22 364 9550; Mobile: +41 79 377 7958; E-mail: mobriennonewwfint.org


About IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

IUCN, the International Union for conservation of Nature, is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network. IUCN is a democratic union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and some 10,000 volunteer scientists in more than 150 countries. The Union’s work is supported by 1,100 professional staff in 62 countries and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.


About WWF

WWF, the global conservation organization, is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. WWF has a global network active in over 100 countries with almost 5 million supporters.
WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.


About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.


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