The Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment Inaugurates its Environmental Education Center in Salé

On Tuesday, June 18th 2019, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment inaugurated the Hassan II International Environmental Training Center, located next to the Exotic Gardens of Bouknadel, near Rabat, with the attendance of  the guests and partners .

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The creation of this center, named by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, was initiated by HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa. The center is entirely dedicated to raising environmental awareness and education among all target groups: children, civil society, businesses, administrations, local government entities, etc. It is the culmination of 18 years dedicated to this mission, part of the core programmes that the Foundation has initiated since its inception in 2001.

The Hassan II International Environmental Training Center will enable the Foundation to boost its educational efforts geared towards all its targets, and rise to the world challenge of combating global warming.

The center will start with an educational corpus consisting of tools, either developed by the Foundation or provided by its international partners such as UNESCO, FAO, UN Environment, and UNFCCC, to name a few. The advanced research in environmental education that the center intends to carry out in collaboration with multiple partners, including the Ministry of National Education, Moroccan universities and major engineering schools, will lead to the development of cutting-edge educational content.

To rapidly disseminate this pedagogy on a large scale, the Hassan II International Environmental Training Center will opt for new e-learning technologies. HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa took part of a distance-learning sequence with the technological resources that the center’s four training rooms will be equipped with for online, live, group or face-to-face distance sessions.

These rooms will be a valuable tool for training educators who will work to change the behaviour of all audiences, in order for the latter to willingly preserve the environment through their daily actions and choices.

On the garden level, in one of the four multipurpose and connected rooms, open for green classes in the pedagogical gardens where the teaching takes place in a practical manner, three Eco-Schools participated in training sessions related to sustainable development, in the presence of HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa.

For the construction of this center, the Foundation aimed to set an example in terms of environmental protection: site access, use of ecological materials such as soil and timber, photovoltaic power plant for energy autonomy, rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment, waste management, permeable and tree-lined car parks, and landscaping of gardens in harmony with the natural environment. The experience gained during this eco-conscious project will pave the path towards developing a sustainable construction label specific to the kingdom.

Today,  the Hassan II International Environmental Training Center has become one of the Foundation’s flagship projects, set to reach high expectations: to be at the forefront, in constant renewal, adopting advanced pedagogical approaches, both in terms of content and tools for disseminating information. Its mission is to become a role model for environmental innovation, a space for meetings and exchanges, an incubator for ideas and solutions for the environment, especially for future PhD students.

Through its pedagogical vision, the Hassan II International Environmental Training Center, which is at the heart of the Foundation’s strategy, will revive the programmes of the Foundation and its partners in Morocco, Africa, and along the Mediterranean, who will be brought successfully together.

Announcing Earth Action Hub: A 3-Day Virtual Climate Event!

Connecting people to inspire change



The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is excited to be announcing the launch of Earth Action Hub, a dynamic 3-day virtual event dedicated to engaging everyone from youth to elders in learning about and promoting sustainable solutions to climate change!

Hosted by FEE, Earth Action Hub is the creation of the international, youth-led Organizing Committee made up of seven dedicated members: Barry McLaughlin (Ireland), Jessica Laxton (England), Joanna Tao (New Zealand), Kristina Madsen (Denmark), Paola Bay (Italy), Reeza Hanselmann (USA/Germany) and Samia Gomes (Brazil), all with the shared vision of building an online collaborative community that will serve as inspiration and support for continued environmental action across the globe.

“Our mission is to offer international youth-led virtual events and showcase resources that will give people the knowledge, skills, support, and hope needed to make changes in their daily lives that collectively will have a profound positive impact on the environment.”


SAVE THE DATES: 21-23 May 2021

The first annual Earth Action Hub event will be kicking off on Friday, May 21st at 14:00 UTC, starting with an Opening Ceremony filled with individuals from around the world and diving straight into a variety of talks, conversations and workshops. We’ve got over 24 hours of fun, dynamic and educational activities and sessions planned so Earth Action Hub is sure to be a success! And everyone’s invited!

Since our goal is to highlight a diverse range of voices, stories and experiences around solutions to climate change, we’re fortunate to have a number of incredible partners and speakers supporting Earth Action Hub all around the world. You can learn more about our partners on the Earth Action Hub website - we’re adding new ones every day!

Help us support the creation and maintenance of the online Earth Action Hub website with a donation!

Follow us @EarthActionHub on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share our posts using #earthactionhub!

Check out our website and sign up to our newsletter to join the Earth Action Hub community and stay updated on news both leading up to and after our inaugural event!

Interested in partnering with us or running a session at the event? Send an email to                                                         

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Earth Action hub is hosted by Foundation for Environmental Education, a member-based environmental non-profit organization.  With members in 77 countries around the world, FEE is the world’s largest environmental education organisation. Through five groundbreaking programmes, FEE helps communities realise the benefits of sustainable living.

New Collaboration with Youth Climate Report

The Youth Climate Report is partnering with Foundation for Environmental Education and will participate in the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme!


This means that videos created for YRE will be showcased on the Youth Climate Report interactive map found on several UN websites. We believe this collaboration provides all of us the opportunity of “speaking youth to power”!

The Youth Climate Report is a multilinear, interactive, database documentary film project presented on a platform of a Geographic Information System map of the world. Simply put, it’s a digital map containing videos of climate research produced by the global community of youth from 2008 to the present.

Conceived in 2011 as a feature-length documentary film project showcasing approximate five video reports made by youth for presentation at the United Nations’ annual climate summits, it evolved into this interactive format to better serve the delegates, negotiators, and policymakers that attend these events. In 2016, it was designated as a partner program of the United Nations Climate Change secretariat and today serves as a resource for those attending the climate conferences. It is also available on various public websites and social media so everyone worldwide can interact with the project.

Global Youth Video Competition

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The videos are curated through a contest administered by the UN called the Global Youth Video Competition. Each year two or three themes that will be prevalent at the COP conference that year are identified for the participants. The videos are submitted to an organization called Television for the Environment that administers the judging process. The top twenty videos in each category are then added to the Youth Climate Report project. The winners of the competition are flown to the host country of that year’s COP conference where their films are premiered at an awards ceremony. The winners are also given an internship at the conference so they can gain valuable first-hand experience in the international policymaking process.

See this year’s categories and winning videos here.

Future research on this project includes other means of engaging youth to be trained in documentary production and to tell their own stories of climate research and impacts where they live. Programmes like The Planetary Health Film Lab provide this opportunity to eligible candidates who may not have access to the UN competition, such as those living in remote communities throughout the world. As the project strives to be all-inclusive, efforts are made to involve Indigenous and technologically-challenged communities. Planetary health is an issue that affects everyone so it is necessary to give voice to everyone with this project.

Here are the films that came out of this Lab.

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Youth Climate Report Executive Director Mark Terry is a professor of environmental filmmaking at York University and Wilfrid Laurier University, both in Canada. He runs workshops that provide training and support to emerging environmental filmmakers. Those who participate earn a certificate of achievement and their films are added to the UN’s Youth Climate Report interactive map.

Another workshop initiative, known as the Student Life Levy at Wilfrid Laurier University, saw a group of young filmmakers creatively working through the restrictions and limitations of a pandemic to generate a series of films for the Youth Climate Report. The training and production took place over a period of two months.

Here are the films that came out of this program.

For more information, please contact Mark Terry at


We are looking for a YRE/Eco-Schools Alumnus for astronaut/astrophysicist!

Did you ever dream of becoming an astronaut? Do you sometimes muse about going to space? Do you just enjoy looking up at the stars? If you do, this one-of-a-kind opportunity is for you!

Deadline to apply: February 21st 2021


[WHO]   Amateur/Expert Astrophysicist, YRE/Eco-Schools Alumnus/a, 21+ years old 

[WHAT]  Crew #238 of MDRS - Mars Desert Research Station 

[WHERE]  Utah, USA

[WHEN]  January 2022 (Deadline to apply February 21 2021)

[WHY]  Because you're curious. Because it’s there. Because space exploration is fascinating stuff!

[HOW]  You apply to join the crew through various levels of scrutiny to assess your skills and mission plans



— At least 21 years of age

— From any YRE/Eco-Schools country 

— Able to travel to the USA in 2022 (COVID restrictions *may* apply)

— Current YRE student or YRE Alumnus / Legacy / Ambassadors

— Or Eco-Schools University Student (Master’s or PhD Level)

— Must: Astrophysics education or advanced expertise (or similar)

— Skills: Read more below



Join YRE Legacy Student and Filmmaker Pedro José-Marcellino in Crew #238 of the MDRS - Mars Desert Research Station. Pedro’s first YRE Mission was Mission Antarctica in 1995. He has now been selected to join Crew #238 as Documentarian-in-Residence and Crew Journalist at the Mars Society’s space analogue station MDRS — Mars Desert Research Station, and is inviting another YRE alumnus/a to join in on board. In planning since early 2020, and initially penned for a January 2021 crew rotation, this mission has been delayed to January 2022 due to COVID-19 concerns. After a year in preparation, and another one still ahead, Crew #238 will be well prepared. You must be too. With one new member down due to this calendar change, the current crew — including a fellow YRE — has the unique privilege of helping select the 8th crew member: if you are a professional or amateur astrophysicist, that could be you.  The crew is looking for someone to operate the Station’s Musk Observatory (Solar) and Robotic Observatory (nighttime), and also spearhead their own research project in coordination with other crew members’ projects.



— Outside Hanksville, Utah, USA



— 2 - 16 January 2022 (deep winter)

— Possible rollover to a double rotation 

— Potential Second Mission (TBC): 16-30 January 2022



In order to help develop key knowledge needed to prepare for human Mars exploration, and to inspire the public by making sensuous the vision of human exploration of Mars, the Mars Society initiated the Mars Analog Research Station (MARS) project. A global program of Mars exploration operations research, the MARS project includes two Mars base-like habitats located in deserts in the Canadian Arctic and the American Southwest. In these Mars-like environments, we have launched a program of extensive long-duration field exploration operations conducted in the same style and under many of the same constraints as they would on the Red Planet. By doing so, they began the process of learning how to explore on Mars.

The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is a laboratory for learning how to live and work on another planet. It is a prototype of a habitat that will land humans on Mars and serve as their main base for months of exploration in the harsh Martian environment. Such a habitat represents a key element in current human Mars mission planning. MDRS serves as a field base to teams of six to seven crew members: geologists, astrobiologists, engineers, mechanics, physicians, human factors researchers, artists, and others, who live for weeks to months at a time in relative isolation in a Mars analog environment. Mars analogs are defined as locations on Earth where some environmental conditions, geologic features, biological attributes or combinations thereof may approximate in some specific way those thought to be encountered on Mars, either at present or earlier in that planet’s history. Studying such sites leads to new insights into the nature and evolution of Mars, the Earth, and life.


Crews don’t usually get to self-select. This is a unique situation. After one year of prep, and after losing one member, the remaining crew wants someone to fit with ongoing collective goals. The crew identified the need for an astrophysicist. That’s where you come in. 

If you feel you have the right skills, the process will take place in various steps: 

(1) Contact your YRE/Eco-Schools National or International Operator. 

(2) Vetting of your skills / education by YRE/Eco-Schools National or International Operator, and by Pedro, the YRE Alumnus and Crew Member. 

(3) Zoom interview with Crew #238 in late February or March — TBC

(4) If approved by the Commander, the XO, and the rest of the crew, you will be requested to write an official application to The Mars Society, with the endorsement of Crew #238

(5) Once finalized and approved by The Mars Society selection committee, you will join the monthly prep briefings, and will be given assignments like everyone else. 


You are expected to come prepared with a Research Project. There is a lot of latitude in this, and you will have the freedom to design your own research, in fitting with the Mission’s goals. If you are associated with a university, you may already have specific research topics. Your research should integrate both the “Musk observatory” and the “robotic observatory”. Special equipment training will be required before the mission. 

— Information at a glance, including technical specs, in the official website of the MDRS:

— All training activities for the robotic observatory will be online, the training website is here:

— A gallery of pictures taken by former Crews with the robotic observatory can be found here:


You will also be on-board sponsored by FEE / YRE / Eco-Schools, so in addition to your normal crew duties, you will have a duty to represent FEE / YRE / Eco-Schools, and perhaps help bridge the gap between the environmental movement and the space research movement by way of your intervention and post-mission advocacy. As the official storyteller in the Crew, Pedro can help you define and execute goals, and will be your partner in representing our programs.  

For any questions, please contact Pedro Marcellino:

DEADLINE TO APPLY: February 21st 2021

For more information about the MDRS Station, visit:

For a photo reportage about life in the Station, published in The Atlantic, visit: 

YRE Launches 2 New Courses on FEE Academy!

Happy New Year to our wonderful YRE community!

We are very excited to announce the launch of our first two Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) courses in the Foundation for Education’s (FEE) online learning platform, FEE Academy. Our YRE International team has put a tremendous amount of time and care into creating a YRE National Operators introduction course and a photography and photojournalism course for students (whether they have participated in YRE before or not)!


Made especially for current and soon-to-be YRE National Operators, the YRE National Operators course gives learners an overview of the YRE programme, how to set up and run the programme at the national level, and lots of tools and resources to support our National Operators in making the YRE programme a success!

Our second course, Photography for Photojournalism, was created to give young people anywhere with an internet connection an opportunity to learn about visual storytelling, develop their photography skills and become familiar with the YRE programme and our annual international competition. The lessons are divided across six modules, and learners are asked to participate in activities both online and offline. It has been designed so that learners can go through the content independently and at their own pace, making it a flexible and fun learning experience!

While we are proud of what we’ve created so far, we know it could always be better, which is why we will be continuously improving the quality and content of the courses based on the feedback we receive from you, the learners.

Curious? You can easily enroll any time before March 1st. Individuals who have enrolled in the courses will then be able to participate in the courses starting from January 15th until March 19th.

Itching to get started on a course? First, go to FEE Academy and create an account. Once you’re a confirmed user, you can log into FEE Academy, go to the Young Reporters for the Environment section and enroll in the course you’d like to take. It’s that simple! Looking forward to seeing you in class!

- The YRE International Team


#YREStayActive Winners Announced!

The #YREStayActive mini-competition about Water, Sanitation and Hygiene has now ended! We received lots of great submissions from our creative Young Reporters and National Operators were invited to assess the entries. These are the top three:

2nd Place Winner:

Hand Washing - Clean Hands Keep Germs Away (Mauritius)

3rd Place Winner:

Saving Water While Hand Washing (Malta)

In addition, we also want to highlight two runner-ups:

Sustainable Food…To Us And To The Environment (Portugal)

Let's take the first step to improve the condition and quality of water in Župa Nikšićka (Montenegro)

Thank you to everyone who participated! #YREStayActice takes a break over Christmas but will start again on January 15th. The next mini-competition will be about Waste Management and Littering and in collaboration with the UNESCO Trash Hack Campaign!

2020 Virtual Youth Changemakers Convention

Over the first weekend in October, four YRE students attended the Virtual Youth Changemakers Convention! It was a productive weekend filled with thought-provoking sessions covering topics such as social justice, campaigning and youth empowerment. The convention invited young people to showcase their work to inspire and encourage participants from all around the globe, while celebrating the premiere of David Attenborough: A life on our planet. Find more information about the event at Youth For Our Planet.


Our Young Reporters each wrote an article reflecting on the event, which you can find on Exposure:

YRE students Maria Carreira, Bhargav Patel, Saga Oskarson Kindstrand and Reeza Hanselmann

YRE students Maria Carreira, Bhargav Patel, Saga Oskarson Kindstrand and Reeza Hanselmann

Photo of the Year

We are announcing a new award - Photo of the Year!

This year the International YRE Jury decided to select a Photo of the Year - a special award separate from all the competition winners. The jury selected the photo deemed most interesting and valuable in presenting the message of the YRE programme. 

The 2020 Photo of the Year is....

Aysun Sökmen at Gündönümü Farm in Çerkezköy (Turkey)

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"In 2020, the YRE International Competition's Photo of the Year came down to two powerful contenders. Following a trend initiated in 2019, the selected photograph brings into sharp focus the human causes and the human consequences of environmental degradation, shedding an instant light — and humanity — on the complex, nuanced challenges we collectively face. Unanimously picked by the jury after fierce debate, the photo comes from Turkey and it portrays farmer Aysun Sökmen, at Gündönümü Farm in Çerkezköy. The image was part of a five-photo series awarded 1st Place in the Photo Reportage category.

This reportage focuses on the "new rurals/new pioneers who started [a] back-to-the-land movement [and] have applied alternative models against [eminent] ecological apocalypse”. It offers insight into societal changes underfoot in this generation that feels shortchanged by economic development and environmental decadence. Aysun’s captivating and pensive face captured all of this in a single shot. In her eyes locked on the horizon the jury perceived a sense of hopefulness, and yet a certain sadness, or perhaps anguish caused by the Sisyphical task ahead. But her hands cast toward the foreground of photo are perhaps symbolically steeped into the manure she’s using to reclaim the land. In its simplicity, this photograph packs a serious punch, and it showcases YRE's ideals and search for solutions."
P.J. Marcellino (Portuguese-Canadian filmmaker, and a former YRE
Head of Development, Anatomy of Restlessness Films 
Founder, Baobab Film Collective), on behalf of the 2020 Jury.

The photo was part of the photo reportage "Five alternative solution models to the eco-apocalypse from the new rurals" by the YRE students from Turkey:
Elif Pınar Sevinç, Tarık Bayri, İlker Can Koçulu, Selin Gürel, Ozan Gümüşoğlu, Ayşenur Ataseven, Alperen Alaş, Emre Uzunoğlular, Aytek Başkan, Şevval İpek, Harun Gecü and Zeynep Lara Yüce 

We are launching #YREStayActive!

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For 2020/2021, FEE is planning four #YREStayActive-campaigns for YRE! The campaigns are designed for students that are facing COVID-19 challenges. The idea is to keep students involved in environment-focused citizen journalism that encourages them to investigate local environmental issues and solutions. Each campaign will have its own theme and run for two months.

The campaigns will include weekly activities and mini competitions to increase students’ skills and knowledge around each theme – the best stories shared from schools and students will be awarded at the end of the campaign! Challenges are open to every student who is or wants to be part of the YRE programme in countries that the programme operates and for International Schools.

Campaigns themes

  1. Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH)

  2. Waste Management and Littering

  3. Health and Nutrition/Well-Being

  4. Biodiversity

We are proposing easy-to-do activities and challenges linked to the above themes starting from October 2020. The activities will encourage students to voice their opinion on various aspects and engage with peers. See detailed information about each theme at the end of this page.

Participate in the challenges and contribute to YRE activities in 2020/21

Weekly challenges

Weekly challenges will be published on social media for inspiration. National Operators can select them and share with the network of schools. Activities organised by students from home can be shared on social media with the #YREStayActive hashtag and National Operators and the International team can share it on their social media. Keep an eye on our social media to find all updates about the mini-competition:

Challenges are open to every student who is or wants to be part of the YRE programme in countries that programme operates and for International Schools.

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Mini competition

Towards the end of each campaign, the three best stories from countries will be submitted by National Operators. Remember that all types of entries are allowed (blogs, articles, photos, podcasts, videos, TikToks, etc) and that they must be submitted no longer than a week after the campaign has ended.

Acceptance criteria:

  • The entry has to be in English (or translated).

  • All types of entries are allowed (blogs, articles, photos, podcasts, videos, others).

  • The entry must address a topic relevant to the relevant campaign

  • The entry has to be posted on at least one social media platform with the hashtag

Finding the winners:

All nominees will be presented to the YRE National Operators who will give points to the ones they believe are the best. To ensure fairness, they are not allowed to give scores to stories from their own countries.

The winners of the campaign will receive diplomas from YRE International, mention on social media & website and a small prize.

Introductory webinars:

Each campaign will be introduced to students, teachers and National Operators through a webinar. During the webinar, experts will present information about each of the four themes as well as ideas for activities for schools.

More about webinars and registration can be found here.

Detailed description of each campaign

1. Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH)

Connection with Health and Wellbeing theme through WaSH behaviours, building immunity, mental wellbeing, etc.

Learn more about WaSH in the recorded webinar:

Ideas for activities:

  • Find ways to promote positive hygiene behaviours and document any behaviour change in your community through a short video or photo series.

  • Distinguish key hygiene behaviours needed in your community and conduct a survey to find out to which extent these behaviours are being implemented. Present your findings through a short video, podcast or photo series.

  • Record an (online) interview with a local politician/expert on what challenges your community is facing concerning sanitation (e.g. infectious waste, access to clean water etc).

  • Interview students from other YRE countries on challenges related to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH)

Post for social media:

Further details will be in the description of each post.

Each social media post about activities are available for NOs on Podio as templates so that the text can be translated into the preferred language.

2. Waste Management and Littering

Disposable protective materials like masks and gloves have created a new stream of hazardous waste. As more time is spent at home, there is an opportunity to extend this activity to sustainable consumption and involve the family in making choices to reduce waste in the bin.

3. Health and Nutrition/Well-Being

In many communities, schools also fulfil the supplementary nutritional needs of the children. Engaging children to grow their food in small pots, home backyards, and community spaces could be an interesting activity that may not only supplement food but also create an appreciation for the food and hence reduce waste.

4. Biodiversity

Observing local biodiversity and connecting with nature.

Detailed information about coming campaigns will be updated.

Compete in the international photo marathon: “Humanity and nature - an everlasting conflict?”

From October 10th, 12PM, you have 24 hours to compete in the International photo marathon by “Changing Planet”! 

They invite everyone interested in photography, up to the age of 27, to take photos related to the topic  “Humanity and nature - an everlasting conflict?”

The photos can deal with current topics such as soil sealing, sustainability or the beauty of nature. The winning images will be selected by a jury and presented in an exhibition in January-February, 2021 in Berlin! This is a perfect opportunity for all YRE students!

“Changing Planet - Network for Young Photographers” aims to bring the human-nature relationship into focus by using the medium of photography. As a global network, “Changing Planet” shows the effects of our actions on the local levels of the individual actors. With photographic educational projects, exhibitions and symposia, they especially want to reach the younger generation and offer them a platform to train and present their skills.


  • Up to 18 years: Series and single images (3 photos maximum) can be sent in

  • 19-27 years: Series (3 photos maximum) can be sent in

The jury:

  • Maximilian Mann. Documentary photographer, winner of the World Press Photo Award, the Sony World Photography Award and the Voies OFF Award.

  • Sandra Bergemann. Photo artist, has implemented numerous exhibition projects.

  • Jon A. Juárez. Photographer and videographer working on environmental and natural topics and regional leader at the German Society for Nature Photography.

  • Ulrich Nowikow. Head of the Kienbergpark Environmental Education Centre.

The jury is looking forward to your submissions by October 12, 2020, 6 p.m!

Basic conditions:

  • The photos must be taken between October 10th, 2020, midnight and October 11th, 2020, midnight (local time).

  • Filters must not be used and the photos must not be edited.

  • Please send the submissions only as JPG files in good resolution and attach your name, age, city, title and series order. You can send the data with for free. Please use the following email address for this: ubz@ .

  • Please only include portraits with written permission and send them along, otherwise we cannot include your photos in the evaluation.

  • By submitting your photography you agree that we can use your photos for promotional purposes for the competition and the exhibition without any time or space restrictions. We will always try to ensure your name is shown on the picture.

Some inspiration from past YRE competition photos:

PRESS RELEASE: 2020 Travel Retail Awards will raise funds for Litter Less Campaign projects in India


The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has been selected by TRBusiness and our valued partners at Mars Wrigley to be the beneficiary of funds raised during the 2020 Travel Retail Awards. The third edition of the annual awards ceremony, which was originally scheduled to take place in Singapore in May, will now be held virtually on 29 September during the TRMarketplace Digital Forum. 

The funds raised at the Travel Retails Awards will be directed towards the Litter Less Campaign, a joint initiative of FEE and the Mars Wrigley Foundation. The Litter Less Campaign educates children and youth on the issues of litter and pollution and gives them the opportunity to engage their local communities in awareness-raising activities.

Since its launch in 2011, the Litter Less Campaign has educated over three million students around the world about the challenges of litter and waste and empowered them to become leaders driving sustainability and positive behaviour change in their communities. Phase IV of the Litter Less Campaign was launched in 2019 and will be implemented in 15 countries through two of FEE’s global education programmes: Eco-Schools and Young Reporters for the Environment.

The Travel Retail Awards will raise funds through a charity prize raffle of high-value items donated by the event’s sponsors and participants. Proceeds raised for the Litter Less Campaign at the event will be specifically directed to projects based in twelve schools the region of New Delhi, India. The Litter Less Campaign will engage roughly 6,000 students and reach hundreds of communities in the region, where littering and waste management issues pose serious challenges.  

Click here to donate to the Litter Less Campaign.

Mars Wrigley ITR is proud to partner with TRBusiness to raise funds for the important work of the Litter Less Campaign to drive behaviour change around litter and waste prevention. With support from the travel retail community, we truly believe The Litter Less Campaign will create better communities in India.  We are very excited about the opportunity to drive impact in this way,

— Gary Clarke, General Manager, Mars Wrigley ITR
FEE is very grateful to be the beneficiary of the funds raised at the Travel Retail Awards. The travel retail industry’s generous support and cooperation will be of great help in our ongoing efforts to educate and change the behaviour of children, youth and adults around the world to reduce the negative impacts of litter,
— Daniel Schaffer, CEO, Foundation for Environmental Education

The Litter Less Campaign Video 2020

About the Travel Retail Awards

TRBusiness, retail’s leading provider of duty free and travel retail news, launched the first and only consumer-voted awards dedicated to the travel retail industry in 2018. The game-changing initiative and awards event recognises true ingenuity in travel retailing. It awards airports and products following a judging process, which involves expert research and priceless consumer blogger and video blogger feedback to crown the industry’s trailblazers.

About Foundation for Environmental Education

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is the world's largest environmental education organisation, with members in 77 countries around the world. Through five ground-breaking programmes that represent the cutting edge in Education for Sustainable Development, FEE empowers people to take meaningful and purposeful action to help create a more sustainable world.

About the Mars Wrigley Foundation

The Mars Wrigley Foundation partners with organisations around the world to help people and communities flourish. Since its establishment in 1987, the Mars Wrigley Foundation has contributed over $70 million USD to projects that support oral health education and care, improve lives in mint- and cocoa-growing regions, prevent litter and waste and create vibrant communities.

PRESS RELEASE - Winners of the International YRE Competition 2020

The finalists of the 2020 Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) International Competition have now been assessed by the International Jury, and the awarded entries have been selected. Over 275,000 students participated in the YRE programme this year, and they produced over 16,000 pieces of environmental journalism for national YRE competitions. The number and quality of entries reflects the continued motivation and dedication of YRE students around the world despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entries awarded this year showcase YRE students’ great journalistic talent and a deep understanding of the complex environmental issues affecting their local communities. The International Jury has based their assessment on the students’ topic selection, their reflections on how the topic connects to the Sustainable Development Goals and their overall journalistic skills. The awarded entries represent some of the top youth environmental journalism in the world today.  

”YRE gives youths a great platform to tackle global environmental challenges in innovative ways through photos, videos and articles. I was very inspired by the submissions and pleased to see complex environmental issues addressed as well as clear connections to Sustainable Development Goals,"

- Siiri Mäkelä, UNEP and YRE Jury Member.

The YRE International Competition would not be possible without the hard work of our YRE National Operators, whose inspiring efforts have enabled thousands of teachers and students to participate in this year’s competition. It is humbling to see this level of engagement, which empowers more students every year to take an active role in the future of their communities.

This year’s International YRE Jury

This year’s International Jury meeting took place virtually from the 15th-17th of September. The jury has assessed each shortlisted entry thoroughly, and awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, as well as Honourable mentions, based on their technical quality, level of investigation, originality, and dissemination. The International Jury represents expertise across a wide spectrum of fields, and consists of professionals in environmental journalism, corporate social responsibility and Education for Sustainable Development.

“I am happy to rejoin the YRE Jury as I was a member many years ago. I am very impressed by how over the years the quality of the reporting and of the themes chosen for the articles, videos and photos has improved. What has struck me is how committed and engaged the Young Reporters have become and how they have taken on the challenge to tackle key environmental issues at their local level.”

– Bernard Combes, UNESCO


List of Jury Members 2020:

  • Bernard Combes - UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization)

  • Anne Vela-Wagner – Mars Wrigley Foundation

  • Torvald Jacobsson - IIIEE (Independent Institute for Innovation, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics), Lund University

  • Christopher Slaney - Freelance Journalist

  • Siiri Mäkelä - UNEP, Kenya

  • P.J. Marcellino - Portuguese-Canadian filmmaker, and a former YRE. Head of Development, Anatomy of Restlessness Films. Founder, Baobab Film Collective

  • James O'Hagan – Reporter in Euronews' Dubai bureau

  • Sasha Karajovic - Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) Executive Board member with responsibility for YRE, Montenegro

  • Filipa Murta – YRE Alumna from Portugal

Find detailed information about each Jury Member here.

About the International YRE Competition

All entries competing in the YRE International Competition have been awarded 1st place in their respective countries’ National YRE competitions earlier this year. The entries are divided into three age groups (11-14, 15-18 and 19-25) as well as three media categories (articles, photos and videos). There is also a special category for International Collaboration. YRE students in countries participating in the Litter Less Campmaign have the opportunity to submit entries concerned with litter and waste issues, which have been assessed separately. All entries have been uploaded on the YRE Competition’s Exposure page.

The International YRE Competition winners for 2020 are:

Article, 11-14 years

1st Place
Title: Toxic Finger Food
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: Is the Teardrop of Europe weeping?
Country: Montenegro

Honourable Mentions
Title: Be The Right Change You Want to See in the World
Country: Singapore

Title: Reducing livestock mortality caused by household plastic waste
Country: Morocco

Article, 15-18 years

1st Place
Title: Residents Demand Better Used Clothes Recycling
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: Fireworks – beautiful environmental villains
Country: Sweden

3rd Place
Title: Biomimicry: The Salvation of the Dunes
Country: Puerto Rico

Honourable Mentions
Title: Fuel your body, not pollution: the rise and the problems of online food delivery
Country: International School in Bahrain

Title: Pollution: A Matter of Life and Death
Country: South Africa

Article, 19-25 years

1st Place
Title: Once A Month
Country: Puerto Rico

2nd Place
Title: A paradise for endangered species of wetland birds created thanks to a neglected irrigation system
Country: Czech Republic

3rd Place (shared)
Title: Living Zero Waste As Told By A Singaporean Eco-Warrior
Country: Singapore

Title: Slovak Cities Benefit from Using Rainwater
Country: Slovakia

Single Photo Reportage, 11-25 years

1st Place
Title: The ,,Red Lake'' near Dobro Selo in B&H
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

2nd Place
Title: Deadly Demand
Country: Singapore

3rd Place
Title: Footprint
Country: Israel

Honourable Mentions
Country: India

Title: Cooking Yam in a Traditional Kitchen
Country: Ghana

Single Photo Campaign, 11-25 years

Honourable Mentions
Title: Nature, rest in peace
Country: Montenegro

Title: It's Time To Solve This Puzzle
Country: Portugal

Title: Congratulations, Humanity!
Country: Iceland

Photo Reportage of 3-5 Photos, 11-25 years

1st Place
Title: Five Alternative Solution Models to The Eco-Apocalypse from The New Rurals
Country: Turkey

2nd Place
Title: Mining: a scar on the planet
Country: Portugal

Honourable Mentions
Title: Kilometres Eaten
Country: Slovakia

Title: Making face masks for people of Murugu in Tamale, Ghana
Country: Ghana

Video, 11-14 years

1st Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Green Algae in Brittany
Country: France

Shared 2nd Place (as Reportage Videos)
Title: How to survive and not dry out
Country: Czech Republic

Title: Hands-on river revival: A community Fixing Their Environment!
Country: South Africa

3rd Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Polystyrene Snow
Country: Slovakia

3rd Place (as Campaign Video)
Title: The most dangerous pandemic is still human ignorance
Country: Portugal

Honourable Mention (as Reportage Video)
Title: Small Scabious Mining Bee
Country: Scotland

Video, 15-18 years

1st Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Is there a solution to internet pollution?
Country: Iceland

1st Place (as Campaign Video)
Title: Selfish and Hotdog
Country: Republic of Korea

2nd Place (as Campaign Video)
Title: Ocean Acidification
Country: Puerto Rico

3rd Place (as Campaign Video)
Title: Air Pollution in Sarajevo
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Honourable Mention (as Campaign Video)
Title: Driving Green
Country: Israel

Video, 19-25 years

1st Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Climate Urgency - Manifestation
Country: Portugal

2nd Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Cigarette Butts
Country: Argentina

Honourable Mention (as Campaign Video)
Title: What if Human Extinct?
Country: Malaysia

International Collaboration

1st Place (shared)
Title: Food Waste and Climate Change (video)
Countries: Malaysia and Singapore

Title: Plastic Waste - An Intercontinental Problem (video)
Countries: Wales and Spain

Honourable Mention
Title: Trash - A buried nightmare (article)
Countries: Portugal and Montenegro

Litter Less Campaign category:

Article, 11-14 years

1st Place
Title: Oh we do like to be beside the seaside
Country: Wales

2nd Place (shared)
Title: The Natural Respirator
Country: Northern Ireland

Title: To waste our life
Country: New Zealand

Honourable Mention
Title: The Pollution of the Valdemembra River
Country: Spain

Article, 15-18 years

1st Place
Title: Prestige nightmare still haunts Spanish government
Country: Spain

2nd Place
Title: The problem with electronic waste
Country: Northern Ireland

3rd Place
Title: Use of water fountains to reduce plastic waste
Country: Malta

Article, 19-25 years

Honourable Mention
Title: A journey from littering less to litter- less
Country: India

Single Photo Reportage, 11-25 years

1st Place
Title: Recycling makes good business sense
Country: India

2nd Place
Title: Sustainable surfer seeks waste at Sumner
Country: New Zealand

Honourable Mentions
Title: The scream
Country: Malta

Title: Smart shopping choices, why the plastic netting?
Country: Northern Ireland

Single Campaign Photo, 11-25 years

Honourable Mentions
Title: Are you a prisoner to plastic?
Country: Northern Ireland

Title: Shift to glass
Country: Malta

Photo story (3-5 photos), 11-25 years

Honourable Mention
Title: Bench with a view
Country: Malta

Video, 11-14 years

1st Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: From the Seine River to the Pacific Ocean
Country: France

2nd Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Reusable present wrappings – a gift to the environment
Country: Malta

3rd Place (as Campaign Video)
Title: Not just a dream
Country: New Zealand

Video, 15-18 years

2nd Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Plastic pollution awareness
Country: Malta

Video, 19-25 years

1st Place (as Reportage Video)
Title: Recycled Wood Furniture
Country: France

Honourable Mention (as Reportage Video)
Title: Another way out upcycling
Country: India

Congratulations to all winners!

PRESS RELEASE: Litter Less Campaign

Since 2011, the Litter Less Campaign has engaged over 3 million students from schools across 35 different countries, making it the longest-running school campaign on litter and waste. The campaign continues to inspire positive behaviour change by educating students, teachers, parents and communities about the critical environmental issues of litter, waste and pollution.

Launched in 2011, the Litter Less Campaign (LLC) is now entering the second year of its fourth phase, which means that Northern Hemisphere countries running the campaign have finalised the first year of phase four. The campaign is a joint initiative of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the Mars Wrigley Foundation that educates children and youth about the issues of litter, waste and pollution and gives them the opportunity to seek solutions and engage their local communities in awareness-raising activities.

“The Mars Wrigley Foundation is proud to support millions of students around the world through the Litter Less Campaign. Empowering students to lead litter prevention efforts and identify solutions to minimize waste creates better communities for us all. We are particularly appreciative of student’s commitment, creativity and resilience this year as they continued to drive positive behavior change during this challenging time,”

- Anne Vela-Wagner, Executive Director of the Mars Wrigley Foundation.

The Litter Less Campaign focuses on creating positive behaviour change through education, and shapes students into young leaders driving sustainability in their own communities. Students carry out litter action plans and media campaigns aimed at specific litter and waste issues through FEE’s Eco-Schools and Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programmes.


“We at FEE are excited to initiate the second year of this phase that, so far, has entailed countless challenges of restructuring and adjusting, and we are proud to say that we have continued to educate and empower children and youths around the world, undeterred by these new circumstances. The global threat of litter and waste is just as important now as ever, and we are privileged to be able to continue these efforts with the funding and cooperation of the Mars Wrigley Foundation,”

- Daniel Schaffer, CEO of Foundation for Environmental Education.

A campaign with a clear impact

Research from 2019-2020 shows that the Litter Less Campaign had a positive impact on students’ knowledge, behaviour and opinion leadership with respect to litter and waste management. The research indicates that students who participate in the LLC know more about waste management, are less likely to litter, and are more likely to conserve resources compared with students who do not participate in the campaign. LLC students are also more likely than their peers to encourage others to engage in environmentally responsible behaviour.  During only this past year, an astonishing 464,533 students participated in the campaign and 193 schools implemented recycling systems in response to the campaign.

“The impact of the Litter Less Campaign during these last few years is incredibly huge. Schools have highlighted how the behavior of pupils, staff and members of the community has changed as a positive consequence of it. The increase in awareness in terms of recycling, reusing and reducing is the evidence of the success of this campaign,”

- Julie Giles, former national operator in Northern Ireland.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge in the latter part of this campaign year. With school lock-downs, curfews, and restrictions on gatherings in place, the whole campaign was forced to restructure. Despite these challenges, participants in the campaign have been incredibly creative and committed to continuing their efforts from home.

Special Eco-Schools and YRE and ES #stayhome campaigns were launched to encourage students and teachers to stay environmentally engaged during school lock-downs. The LLC lesson plans were adjusted for home schooling, and several online meetings and webinars were organised to ensure that participants had the tools and support to continue the campaign from a distance. Although it has been a big adjustment, the majority of participating countries were still able to complete the first year of phase four.

The Litter Less Campaign Video 2020

About the Mars Wrigley Foundation

The Mars Wrigley Foundation partners with organizations around the world to help people and communities flourish. Founded in 1987, the Foundation works to provide oral health education and care, improve lives in mint- and cocoa-growing regions, prevent litter and waste, and create vibrant communities. For more information:

Countries implementing the Litter Less Campaign in 2019-2021

Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malta, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Wales.

Special YRE interview with the CEO of Too Good to Go

Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted across the world. 1.3 billion tons! That’s an environmental issue of serious proportions!

The tech startup Too Good To Go have made it their mission to fight the global issue of food waste and they are already making a huge difference in 13 countries around Europe. They have managed to create a successful marketplace where 40,000 restaurants, grocery stores and supermarkets, bakeries, cafes and hotels are able to sell their surplus, benefiting people and the environment. 

YRE alumna from France, Lauren Ricard, got the unique opportunity to (virtually) meet and interview Mette Lykke who is the CEO of Too Good To Go. Read the inspiring story by clicking on the image below.

It is great to see that our Young Reporters for the Environment find creative ways to keep interviewing experts and creating stories despite restrictions due to COVID-19!

Time to vote for your favourite shortlisted YRE Competition entries 2020!

A total of 182 entries from 31 countries around the world were submitted to the International YRE Competition this year! These are all national winners from their respective countries.

All 182 entries have been assessed by a dedicated team from the Head Office of Foundation for Environmental Education and the entries with the highest scores have been shortlisted for the International Jury to review. Below you will find the shortlisted articles, photos, and videos. Huge thanks for the impressive work of all YRE students!

Tell us which ones are your favourites and make them stand out to the jury by clicking the “Enjoy”-button in the upper right corner! And don’t forget to share them with your friends!  

New Zealand.jpg

Below are the entries that are shortlisted for the International Jury to assess. This year, the jury meeting will take place online on the 15th-17th of September. The final International Winners will be announced shortly after. Good luck to all!

YRE International

Article 11-14 years

Canada COVID-19 Is Helping Birds Regain Their Population

Malta A big hole in the ground

Montenegro Is the Teardrop of Europe weeping?

Morocco Reducing livestock mortality caused by household plastic waste

Singapore Be The Right Change You Want to See in the World

Slovakia Toxic Finger Food  

Article 15-18 years

Bahrain, International School Fuel your body, not pollution: the rise and the problems of online food delivery

Czech Republic A new hope for the environment

France Having a Cloud is convenient, but is it ecological?

Montenegro EE waste - problem of Nikšić

Portugal The Birth of a Local Protected Landscape

Puerto Rico Biomimicry: The Salvation of the Dunes

Scotland The Environmental Impact of Fossil Fuel Motorsport and the benefits of going all electric

Slovakia Residents Demand Better Used Clothes Recycling

South Africa Pollution: A Matter of Life and Death

Sweden Fireworks – beautiful environmental villains

Article 19-25 years

Czech Republic A paradise for endangered species of wetland birds created thanks to a neglected irrigation system

India Sikkim, A ray of Light in India’s Losing Fight with Agriculture

Portugal A New Virus, New Waste: the Change in Health, Society and Waste Production

Puerto Rico Once a Month

Singapore Living Zero Waste As Told By A Singaporean Eco-Warrior

Slovakia Slovak Cities Benefit from Using Rainwater

Single Photo reportage 11-25 years

Bosnia and Herzegovina The “Red Lake'' near Dobro Selo in B&H


Israel Footprint

Montenegro “Decorated” river Zeta - our nature park

Singapore Deadly Demand

Slovakia Treasure Hunting  

Single Photo Campaign 11-25 years

Canada The future of our world

Iceland Congratulations, humanity!

Montenegro Nature, rest in peace

Portugal It's Time To Solve This Puzzle

Photo reportage of 3-5 photos 11-25 years

Ghana Making face masks for people of Murugu in Tamale, Ghana

Portugal Mining: a scar on the planet

Slovakia Kilometers Eaten

Turkey Five Alternative Solution Models to The Eco-Apocalypse from The New Rurals

Video reportage 11-14 years

France Green Algae in Brittany

Czech Republic How to survive and not dry out

Scotland Small Scabious Mining Bee

Slovakia Polystyrene Snow

South Africa Hands-on river revival: A community Fixing Their Environment!

Video campaign 11-14 years

Israel Waiter, I did not order plastic!

Portugal The most dangerous pandemic is still human ignorance

Video reportage 15-18 years

France The frame of old wood

Montenegro When we throw out the trash, where does it go?

Portugal Biodiversity as a Source of Crime and Business: Illegal Species Trafficking

Puerto Rico Ocean Acidification

Video campaign 15-18 years

Bosnia and Herzegovina Air pollution in Sarajevo

Canada Solutions for Climate Action

Iceland Is there a solution to internet pollution?

Israel Driving green

Republic of Korea Selfish and Hotdog

Singapore How Old Will You Be In 2050?

Video reportage 19-25 years

Argentina Cigarette butts

Malta Soil as an essential natural resource

Portugal Climate Urgency - Manifestation

Video campaign 19-25 years

Malaysia What if human extinct?

International collaboration

Portugal and Montenegro Trash - A burried nightmare

Portugal and Bosnia & Herzegovina Air Pollution in Sarajevo and Braga

Portugal and Bosnia & Herzegovina Managing Waste and the Future

Malaysia and Singapore Food Waste and Climate Change

Portugal and Spain Think European, Act Locally

Wales and Spain Plastic Waste - An Intercontinental Problem

Litter Less Campaign

Article 11-14 years

New Zealand To waste our life

Northern Ireland The Natural Respirator

Spain The Pollution of the Valdemembra River

Wales Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

Article 15-18 years

Malta Use of water fountains to reduce plastic waste

New Zealand Acting for the Environment

Northern Ireland The problem with electronic waste

Spain Prestige nightmare still haunts Spanish government

Article 19-25 years

India A journey from littering less to litter-less


India Recycling makes good business sense

Malta The scream

New Zealand Sustainable surfer seeks waste at summer

Northern Ireland Smart shopping choices, why the plastic netting?

Single Photo Campaign 11-25 years

Malta Shift to glass

Northern Ireland Are you a prisoner toplastic?

Photo reportage of 3-5 photos 11-25 years

Malta Bench with a view

Spain When leisure and work do not respect the forest

Video reportage/Campaign 11-14 years

France From the Seine River to the Pacific Ocean

Malta Reusable present wrappings – a gift to the environment

New Zealand Not just a dream

Video reportage/Campaign 15-18 years

Malta Plastic pollution awareness

Video Reportage/campaign 19-25 years

France Recycled wood furniture

India Another way out upcycling

YRE Volunteers Help Clean Up Mauritius Oil Spill

When bulk carrier Wakashio broke up on the pristine coral reefs of Mauritius, it led to a major oil spill and national emergency in the country. The oil spill happened near two environmentally protected marine ecosystems and the Blue Bay Marine Park reserve, a wetland of international importance (see drone footage of the spill here).

Reef Conservation Mauritius has launched the “SOS Mangrove Programme” and has started to monitor the impact of the oil spill on mangroves. They are collaborating with local and international experts in order to implement appropriate actions for mangrove restoration and need funds to purchase equipment. 

See this post for more information on how you can help.

Reef Conservation research team during their 4th survey.

Reef Conservation research team during their 4th survey.

The YRE Club at Loreto College Curepipe got involved to help the local fishermen around the affected areas as well as collect bottles to make anti-pollution booms that can be used to clean up the lagoons.  It is amazing to see this immediate mobilization and commitment of Mauritian YRE students to help clean up after this ecological disaster!

They write:

“Well, though there was a bright sun and kind of rushed working there, it was admirable and somewhat emotional to see how many people were helping making those booms to clean up our lagoons. It was also a great experience for me personally to work with everyone there as a team and to see the mobilization of Mauritians in these times of crisis”.

According to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Mauritian marine environment is home to 1,700 species including around 800 types of fish, 17 kinds of marine mammals and two species of turtles. Although the full impact of the spill is still unclear, clownfish living in the coral reefs, the endangered pink pigeon, and the mangrove systems are all examples of the wildlife at risk as a consequence of this disaster. 

The winning article from the national YRE competition in Mauritius this year described the importance of protecting mangrove systems. They write that: 

“mangroves are one of the main defenses in the delicate balance of the ecosystem. They play a crucial role in our ecosystem. They act as filter trapping sediments. Not only do mangroves act as a form of natural coastal defense against storms and rising waters but also their soils are highly effective carbon sinks, sequestering vast amounts of carbon”.

Read the rest of the article here.

PRESS RELEASE - Winners of the #YREstayshome Competition

We are excited to be announcing the winners of our #YREstayshome competition in the five categories of Single Photo, Written Story, Video, Most Active Participant and Special Category! There were excellent submissions from 10 countries, with Malta, Portugal and Slovakia entering submissions for all five categories. It was a pleasure getting to see how active, engaged, and creative our Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) remained even during the COVID-19 lockdown and we hope our YRE continue being critical and curious voices for the environment as the world begins to shift out of lockdown. Many thanks as well to the teachers and our YRE National Operators who have worked and continue to work hard to support YRE!

The #YREstayhome Competition Winners:

Single Photo

1st Place
Title: A Shift to Glass
Country: Malta

2nd Place
Title: A silent pandemic occurs at sea… Fight it!
Country: Portugal

3rd Place
Title: Frontliner
Country: Malaysia

Special Mention
Title: The Fading View
Country: Mauritius

Written Story

1st Place
Title: The Natural Respirator
Country: Northern Ireland

Tied for 2nd Place
Title: Bon Appetite Planet Earth & COVID-19: An opportunity for the environment?
Country: Slovakia & Portugal

Special Mention
Title: 2020: Through the Eyes of Normie
Country: Malaysia


1st Place
Title: State of Emergency is over… stay at home!
Country: Portugal

2nd Place
Title: Helping Butterfly Meadow
Country: Slovakia

3rd Place
Title: Home Waste Recycling Campaign
Country: Malaysia

Most Active Participant

1st Place
Name: Luís Martins and Diogo Martins
Country: Portugal

2nd Place
Name: Bye Bye Plastic Bags Malta (Group of Students) at Verdala International School
Country: Malta

3rd Place
Name: Daša Pacek at Primary School “Leskovec pri Krškem”
Country: Slovenia

Special Mention
Name: Sanish Ramlal at Emmanuel Anquetil SSS
Country: Mauritius

Special Category

1st Place
Category: Blog (Bird’s Eye View)
Name & Country: Matthew Cassar, Malta

2nd Place
Category: Newspaper (Vortex No.1)
Name & Country: Emily Duffy, Scotland

3rd Place
Category: Podcast (Café Relax)
Name & Country: Mária Jánošíková, Michal Mazánik, Tamara Eliašová, Slovakia

A list of all the #YREstayshome Nominees can be found here.

Nominees for the competition were selected by National Operators in each country. The winners are based on points given by the National Operators and YRE team in the Head office. The stories we the highest number of points were selected as winners of this competition. All winners will receive a diploma. The first-place winners will receive also a small financial prize through their National Operators in each country.

Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your participation!

About YRE – ‘Giving our environment a voice.’

The Young Reporters for the Environment programme aims to empower young people aged 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and to give them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video. The programme is based on a four-step methodology which seeks to develop students’ critical thinking and expression, creativity and leadership skills. Every year the top YRE investigations have the chance to participate in the annual YRE competition and to be assessed by professional juries on national and international levels. The programme also gives Young Reporters the opportunity to participate in international environmental conferences to further develop their skills and network.


About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)

With members in 77 countries we are the world’s largest environmental education organisation. Through our five ground-breaking programmes, we help communities realise the benefits of sustainable living. Recognised by UNESCO as a world leader within the fields of Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). 


Sam Patterson overcomes challenges to take first place in Northern Ireland YRE competition

Sam Patterson’s love of the environment started when he was a just a baby, when he would be calmed by the sound of wind moving through the trees. As a toddler he could be found gently stroking snail shells in the garden, and by age four he regularly wondered if trees might have senses we don’t understand. At age seven, the same year he was diagnosed with dyslexia, Sam was speculating if we could freeze exhaust fumes and somehow reuse them, or at least prevent them from polluting the air. When he was nine, Sam was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

And this year, Sam published a piece of environmental journalism that won first place in the Northern Ireland Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) national competition. His Litter Less Campaign article ‘The Natural Respirator’ explores the paradox between humanity’s connection to nature and our tendency to harm it through human activities. 

Read Sam’s winning article here

Sam’s lifelong passion for the environment inspired him to participate in the YRE competition, and personal experience moved him to choose the topic of his article.

“My family were experiencing quite a lot of difficulty at the time as my grandfather was dying of Covid in hospital,” says Sam. “There were a lot of these manmade policies and safety regulations and things for them to deal with. But really I was thinking about how I could help to benefit the environment. The environment feels more straightforward – there’s no catch to looking after it. It’s a flawless thing. That’s why I called it the Natural Respirator. I knew about shortages in the UK and that they were tied to leaving the EU and the secrecy around this. There’s no pride in nature. It’s easier for me to relate to it.”

Sam at age 3 with one of his beloved garden creatures.

Sam at age 3 with one of his beloved garden creatures.

Sam’s mother Rachael says that despite his differences, he has always been enthusiastic about expressing his love of nature. Even though he struggled to read and write when he was younger, Sam has always had a vivid imagination and a strong grasp of language.

“Sam preferred to communicate by drawing and talking, and much of what he drew was to do with the natural environment,” says Rachael. “On discovering his dyslexia he gained the support he needed to allow his love of words to take shape on the page. He was then able to enjoy the text as well as the photos in his many wildlife books. Sam then joined the school's Eco Council and found his place. There he developed confidence in writing about what he loved, often illustrating his ideas. His great passions in life are the environment and art, with writing coming along a little later, but with growing confidence it proves an ever increasing channel for Sam's self-expression.”

Sam drew this illustration of a Blyth’s Hornbill as a birthday present for his mother this year.

Sam drew this illustration of a Blyth’s Hornbill as a birthday present for his mother this year.

Sam joins the ranks of other spirited young environmentalists with autism, including Greta Thunberg and fellow Northern Irishman Dara McAnulty, who channel their particular ways of seeing the world into positive action for the planet. Leadership comes in many forms, and these young activists are using their unique perspectives to change the way people think about the environment.

As for Sam, YRE has given him the opportunity to hone his environmental reporting skills and provided a platform to communicate his message to the world. He hopes that his article can inspire others to reconsider their attitudes and behaviour towards nature.

“I hope it’ll allow them to realise that we need to strengthen our relationship with the environment. To understand that we’re all part of one huge ecosystem, and we’re all interconnected. Distancing ourselves from fully knowing this isn’t good for us… When there’s an increase in knowledge there’s an increase of support, of passion and of a will to change things, I think.”

An Amazing Opportunity: The 2020 Collision from Home Conference

Floriane Marié, YRE International covering Collision from Home

Floriane Marié, YRE International covering Collision from Home

Last week four of our Young Reporters attended the hugely successful virtual Collision from Home conference! With hundreds of talks and speakers presenting at Collision, our Young Reporters had access to an immense amount of information, opportunities to connect with professionals in various fields, attend Q&A sessions and even interview individuals doing amazing work in the fields of education and climate change.

A 3-day conference based in Toronto, Collision from Home was a one-of-a-kind opportunity  for our Young Reporters to coordinate and work together across three time zones – British Columbia, Scotland, Malta and Denmark – in order to cover their first virtual conference as Young Reporters. It was incredible learning experience both in terms of the information of the talks, as well as the logistics of an online conference. Below, some of our Young Reporters’ favorite parts of the conference…

“My favourite thing about Collision was the goldmine of information available at the click of a mouse. This high-level conference not only presented talks about technology, the future, current issues and those to come, but was also an amazing network of like-minded people, all ready to interact, all ready to 'Mingle'! The only pity was that it was over the span of just three days- it deserved a lot more.” Martina Mifsud, YRE Malta

“My favourite moment was a talk by Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. She is a brilliant woman who speaks so eloquently on climate change. It was particularly inspiring to hear her talk about the potential for a better world coming out of COVID-19, and what we need to do to ensure we continue working towards climate justice.” Allison Gacad, YRE Canada

“Having such an important event with top speakers was a good opportunity to actually hear from those big companies like H&M or Google about their projects, and ask them direct questions because it is also those companies that we need to make a change. Floriane Marié, YRE International

Personally, the best part of Collision from Home was the amazing opportunity to speak with Topher White from Rainforest Connection. Rainforest Connection is a super cool organization that is working to save our planet’s rainforests using old cellphones and it was awesome being able to interview Topher White about how he’s used technology to combat deforestation and climate change.” Reeza Hanselmann, YRE International

Overall, the conference was fantastic experience for the YRE team, so thank you to our Young Reporters for their active participation and high involvement in all the sessions and to the Collision from Home team that helped organize and facilitate this amazing opportunity!

Martina Mifsud, YRE Malta posing a question in the Q&A Session with Anna Gedda, H&M’s Head of Sustainability.

Martina Mifsud, YRE Malta posing a question in the Q&A Session with Anna Gedda, H&M’s Head of Sustainability.

YRE Student Reporters Attending the Collision from Home Conference 2020

Four of our Young Reporters are excited to be attending the Collision from Home virtual three-day conference starting tomorrow, June 23! Originally a tech conference, Collision from Home in fact features over 450 amazing speakers from a variety of backgrounds talking about a range of relevant topics – including climate change and education.

Martina Mifsud (Malta), Allison Gacad (Canada), Floriane Marié (France) and Reeza Hanselmann (Germany/US) will have to opportunity to attend talks by some of the biggest names in the field of climate change and environmental education, such as Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016 and whose work resulted in the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

With talks about combatting climate change post-COVID to saving lives with seaweed, Collision from Home is sure to be an enriching and educational experience for our YRE student reporters. Keep an eye on the YRE Exposure site in the next few weeks to read our Young Reporters’ articles about the event!

Clockwise from top right: Allison Gacad, Floriane Marié, Martina Mifsud, Reeza Hanselmann

Clockwise from top right: Allison Gacad, Floriane Marié, Martina Mifsud, Reeza Hanselmann