IUCN and WWF, powered by Nokia launched a new international online community on March 4 at www.connect2earth.org. This is where young people can express their opinions about the environment by uploading videos, pictures and comments.
Aimed at youth between the ages of 13 and 35, the site will allow people to rank other entries, discuss the issues that matter most to them, and share innovative ideas and solutions from their own communities. Each month users will vote on a winner who will be rewarded with a Nokia mobile phone.
To encourage Vietnamese youth to think about environmental challenges in the country, express their concerns, and take initiatives to cope with those challenges, IUCN Viet Nam will be hosting a training course in early April for select youth communities in Ha Noi.
The tentative two-day training workshop will provide trainees with an understanding of the current environment challenges in Viet Nam and the basic skills needed to present their ideas visually using video and photography.
It is expected that the workshop participants will share their new knowledge and skills with other members of their community and youth club. Once they are aware of environmental issues in Viet Nam and have the skills to document their perspectives, they will be empowered to address local environmental issues.
Although the community website will remain active over the long-term, the competition will only last until August 31, 2008. The winner, selected by a panel of prominent conservationists, will be awarded the opportunity to participate in the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008 where she or he will present her/his ideas directly to political, environmental, and business leaders from around the world.
To know more about this activity in Viet Nam, please contact IUCN Communications Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.