FEE & YRE at COP 24

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and YRE International are once again highly active at the COP. Every year our engagement grows and we are proud to be part of this highly important conference and to contribute to the discussions and actions to help mitigate and adapt to Climate Change.

Together with UNFCCC and UNESCO, FEE is organizing two special events at COP 24:

Youth Training Workshop on Constructive Journalism

5 December, 15:00-16:30 I Climate Action Room 2

The workshop aims to equip participants with the skills to create stories in Climate Change that will initiate positive action. The event will be run by Gosia Luszczek (YRE International Director). Quinn Kanaly and Noel Dockstader (Directors of Point of No Return) are invited as guest speakers.

Round Table Discussion on Climate Change Education (CCE) Challenges

13 December, 15:30-17:30 I Climate Action Room 2

The aim of the Round Table Discussion is to develop a set of recommendations that is actionable by different stakeholders and will contribute to the implementation of ACE. Daniel Schaffer (CEO of FEE) will moderate the event and Pramod Sharma (Senior Director of Education) along with invited experts will contribute with their knowledge on the topic.

NB. The events are by invitation only. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to kristina@fee.global with a brief note.


Young Reporters at COP 24

YRE International is also sending six young reporters to participate in the COP. They will be reporting on the events and creating journalistic pieces on topics related to climate change.

Read more about them here.

YRE student at Piece Summit of Emerging Leaders in Bangkok

Yoorha Kang from South Korea will travel to Thailand to participate in the inaugural Piece Summit of Emerging Leaders which is taking place in Bangkok from 28th to 30th of November. The conference is organized by Humanitarian Affairs Asia and aims to gather 500 young leaders from different parts of the world and give them an understanding and broader perspective on the vitally important subject of Peace.

In addition to being a regular participant in the conference, Yoorha will work as a young reporter preparing an article and a video on specific topics of interests. Her journalistic pieces will be published on YRE Exposure in the beginning of December. She will also be making posts for our social media platforms so remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Read more about Yoorha in her short biography below.

“I was an observer in the past, but now I’m an action-oriented person believing what I’m doing really can make our world more sustainable”

YRE profile_YRK.jpeg

My name is yoorha Kang from South Korea. I am a graduate student majoring in biomedical science at Seoul National University. Since I was young, I’ve wanted to become a scientist who can devote oneself to prosperity of humanity by prolonging the human’s lifespan and seeking the way to make the world better. I thought that those goals can only be achieved by studying medicine and biology. That’s why I decided to major in biology. However, every spring people in South Korea suffered from microdust. Every morning, people checked the level of microdust in the air via application or news and always carried masks for protecting them from microdust which causes oneself severe diseases in pulmonary or Bronchus. Besides microdust, various environmental problems due to excessive development are happening literally everywhere and this makes me realize that what we are facing now is just the tip of the iceberg and we need to take action before it become deteriorating.

Since then my interest in the environment has become bigger and bigger, which finally led me to work for FEE KOREA. I’ve been involved in FEE KOREA over 1 year and now I’m in charge of Eco-Schools Korea and really enjoy what I do. Working in a FEE changes who I am. I was an observer in the past, but now I’m action-oriented person believing what I’m doing really can make our world more sustainable and now I have no doubt that Environment can be a golden key which leads us to a better world that I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl.

This time, I luckily could have a wonderful opportunity to be nominated as representative of YRE and will attend Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders 2018 held in Bangkok. On behalf of YRE international, I want to share our enthusiasm towards environment with other delegates and play the role as a catalyst to improve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).         

YRE's 25th Anniversary: Special 1-Minute Video Competition


2019 will mark 25 years of the International YRE programme, and we would like your help to celebrate our 25th anniversary! We are challenging our YRE students and alumni from around the world to develop catchy one-minute videos highlighting what YRE is all about. This is a great opportunity to show off what our passionate YRE youth can do!

As a competition participant, you get the chance to share your knowledge of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the YRE programme. You also get to improve your journalistic, creative, and critical thinking skills, and to showcase local positive sustainable development activities to a global audience. We will present the winning videos over the course of 2019 in conjunction with our other 25th anniversary activities.

We are looking for 25 winning videos that address at least one of the following topics:

  • YRE as a programme
    Tell the story of YRE, its goals and steps, how to become a Young Reporter etc.

  • The 17 Sustainable Development Goals
    Inform about one or more of the SDGs and show how to address them through practical activities

  • YRE and positive Sustainable Development actions
    Show some of the activities taken by YRE to protect the environment, e.g. collecting litter or other campaigns

  • Your experience with YRE
    Show how he programme has influenced your life

  • YRE at Missions, conferences, events, etc.

  • An interesting example of sustainable development activities
    E.g. from your town, school, neighbourhood, etc.

Submission Requirements

  • The video should present the joy of the programme and the passion of Young Reporters (YOU!)

  • Don’t forget that YRE is about people and for people. We aim to make a positive change, so show us story about people. This is an opportunity to show a story about the people building the YRE network and the emotions that drive YRE as programme on education on sustainable development.

  • The video should be maximum 1 minute in length

  • The video must be in a form compatible with YouTube


We will announce the 25 winning videos on 18 January 2019. Winners will receive a certificate and their videos will be published on YRE websites, social media, and newsletters. Many YRE countries will also publish the videos on their national platforms.  

The creators of the three best videos will be awarded with photo devices, like a GoPro camera, video camera, or photo camera. The three winning videos will be determined by votes from YRE National Operators and by likes on social media. We will announce the top three winners at the end of the 25th anniversary year, in January 2020. 

Submission Deadline

The submission deadline is 18 December 2018. The submission form and the original file should be sent directly to YRE International (kristina@fee.global) either through WeTransfer or Google Drive.

Declaration of consent for processing of personal information and use of video submitted

When signing up to this competition, you agree that we can process your personal data provided in this submission form and given to us during the competition. We process the data so that we can register your participation, judge the submission and save what you have submitted and publish your submission if you are chosen as a winner. All winners will be saved in our archives.

You always have the option to withdraw your consent and your submission to the competition.

The Data Controller is:

Foundation for Environmental Education
Scandiagade 13, 2450 Copenhagen SV, DENMARK
+45 70 22 24 27

Photos from the UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission held in Almada, Portugal in 2018. Groups of Young Reporters went out on a rainy day to investigate local environmental issues and initiatives. They did not let the weather get in the way of good footage and interviews!

Sasha Karajovic elected as member of FEE Board of Directors

At the FEE General Assembly which took place in Latvia on 13-14 September, Sasha Karajovic was elected to become part of the FEE Board of Directors and he is now the Board Member, Political Responsible for the YRE programme until 2020.

Sasha Karajovic has been a member of the non-governmental organization "ECOM – Environmental Consultancy of Montenegro" since 2001, and at the end of 2002 he became the coordinator of international projects in this NGO.

Sasha started Blue Flag in 2003 and YRE in 2008. The last two years he has been engaged in launching the Green Key programme. In addition, Sasha is executive director of ECOM.

Parallel to activities in the NGO, he is also a journalist - an associate of the local public radio service Kotor.

Sasha is working for ECOM on a fully volunteer base and in his professional life, as an expert, he has more than 25 years of experience in spatial and urban planning; environmental, nature and cultural heritage protection and coastal area management.

Sasha is also a multi-year consultant to ministries and several municipalities in Montenegro for the field of planning and environmental protection, as well as international organisations UNDP, GIZ and ERM.

Exclusive online interview with the filmmakers of POINT OF NO RETURN

On Thursday the 27th of September, YRE International has set up an exclusive online interview with Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly - the filmmakers of the fascinating documentary POINT OF NO RETURN which follows the first solar-powered flight around the world. YRE students, alumni and national operators have been invited to participate in the interview, with the chance of speaking directly with two highly inspiring and professional filmmakers.

The online interview will consist of two parts:

  1. A screening of selected scenes from POINT OF NO RETURN (30 minutes)

  2. Interview with the filmmakers (30 minutes)

After the interview, the participating students are expected to write a short article sharing the knowledge they gained. The best articles will be shared on the YRE Exposure page.

SYNOPSIS POINT OF NO RETURN chronicles one of the most suspenseful and pioneering scientific adventure stories of the 21st century, following two pilots in their attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane fueled exclusively by sunlight. Their mission: to prove the potential of clean technology and to inspire hearts and minds. To achieve their goal, they must push themselves and their team of engineers and meteorologists far beyond their limits. 

Thirteen years ago, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschbergbegan building what many experts said was impossible: a solar-powered airplane capable of flying day and night. With the wingspan of a 747 jet and the weight of a car, Solar Impulse is extremely fragile; high winds or turbulence can snap the wings in two. But the 26,000-mile journey tests more than their technology. In an unheated, unpressurized cockpit, the 5-day solo flight across the Pacific Ocean becomes a feat of endurance unlike any other in aviation history. 

Technical failures, unplanned landings, and stormy weather put the entire mission in jeopardy and drain the spirits of the team. To succeed, both Piccard, a psychiatrist and balloonist, and Borschberg, an engineer and jet fighter pilot, must set aside their differences, and go against the advice of their engineers.  POINT OF NO RETURN explores what it takes to do something truly groundbreaking, and how their journey captivated people around the world who came out to see the plane land in their cities, and watched live from their computers at home. It’s a story of hope, courage, and perseverance that gets to the heart of what it will take to solve the biggest environmental threat humans have ever faced.

Photos and quotes from: http://pointofnoreturndoc.com/

Photos and quotes from: http://pointofnoreturndoc.com/


Creative partners for over a decade, filmmakers Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly tell thought-provoking, impactful stories about science, history and exploration. When they learned of Solar Impulse’s audacious zero-fuel flight, they knew it had the potential to be one of the most important pioneering adventures of our time—and they felt compelled to capture it. Over ten months, Noel and Quinn found themselves on opposite sides of the world, tracking the unfolding drama both on the tarmac and at mission control—connected only by their cell phones and a shared vision for the film, Point of No Return.

Prior to embarking on Point of No Return, Dockstader and Kanaly’s collaborative works at Far Wes Film (San Francisco, CA) have been broadcast in the US and internationally on National Geographic, Discovery, Smithsonian, and PBS. Previous films include Extreme Ice for PBS/NOVA, following photographer James Balog as he photographed melting glaciers and ice sheets around the world, and Collapse, a two-hour special for National Geographic about environmental impacts on the collapse of civilizations, based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jared Diamond. 

For more information about the film, visit the website of POINT OF NO RETURN.

New Lesson Plans on Litter and Waste

During the FEE General Assembly on 13-14 September, Gosia Luszczek and Boris Susmak announced the launch of a new set of inspiring lesson plans which have been developed to assist the aims of the Litter Less Campaign. The material will be particularly useful for the 15 countries participating in the Campaign, however, any teacher wishing to educate his/her students on the issue of litter and waste are free to use the resources. After a trial period of one year, the lesson plans will be revised and adjusted based on feedback from schools and National Operators.

The lesson plans have been created for the YRE and Eco Schools programmes (respectively) and can be downloaded here:
Lesson Plans for YRE
Lesson Plans for Eco-Schools

The lesson plans were created by Centre for Environment Education (CEE India) with support from FEE and the material was sponsored by Wrigley Company Foundation.

Lesson plans launch.jpg

PRESS RELEASE: Launch of the YRE International Competition 2019

Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Kristina Madsen, International YRE Coordinator | E: kristina@fee.global

Do you feel passionate about the environment? Do you want to investigate environmental issues and solutions? Then join the International Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Competition 2019 by writing an article, submitting a photo, or making a video. The winning entries will be published internationally on the online platform Medium and on the YRE website!
The International YRE Competition is open to students aged 11-25 from the 34 countries running the YRE programme. Students first have to compete in the National YRE Competition in their respective country and be selected as a national winner before being sent onwards to the International Competition.

For detailed information about the Competition, visit the YRE Competition page

Scouts interviewing Hannah Blythyn Minster of Environment Wales.jpg

The International YRE Competition consists of three different categories:

International Competition

Open to all countries and all themes, except for the litter theme for countries participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Countries that are not participating in the Campaign, can still submit entries related to the litter problem.

Litter Less Campaign

The theme must be related to litter. This category is open to countries that are involved in the Litter Less Campaign: New Zealand, China, India, Israel, Wales, Spain, Northern Ireland, and Ireland.
*Please note that the submissions under the theme of Litter from Litter Less Campaign countries will be evaluated separately, and the winners will receive recognition with a certificate.

International Collaboration

Open to all countries with three recommended themes from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 11-Sustainable Cities, 12-Responsible Consumption & Production, 13-Climate Action.
The submission must be a collaborative work between two countries and (as something new!) the entry can be an “Article”, a “Photo Reportage of 3 photos” or a “Video”. Read more here.

Slovakia 2.JPG

The Sustainable Development Goals through the YRE Competition
YRE is in the process of integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) into the YRE Competition. Therefore, participants are obliged to reflect on the link between their entry and one or more SDGs. This reflection can be included as a part of the journalistic piece or it can be a short additional text which is added to the registration form when uploading the entry. Remember that an environmental lens is always required, also when a social or economic SDG is chosen as a topic of investigation.

PRESS RELEASE: The Litter Less Campaign - Seven Years of Positive Change

 The Litter Less Campaign

Seven Years of Positive Change

The latest phase of the campaign reached 357,516 students from 546 schools across 15 countries and marks changes in students’ perceptions, behaviour about litter

In September 2018, the Litter Less Campaign will enter its eighth year and since its inception has engaged over 2 million students around the world.

The Litter Less Campaign is a joint initiative between the Wrigley Company Foundation and Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that aims to educate young people about the issues surrounding litter, to encourage them to make positive waste disposal choices, and to inspire them to engage their communities in anti-litter activities.

An overall evaluation of the campaign’s impact indicates students’ awareness, knowledge and behaviour has grown by over 10%. This is a very significant educational improvement considering the Litter Less Campaign is a relatively condensed and inexpensive project for schools to implement.

The main objectives of the Litter Less Campaign are to:

  • Raise awareness of how litter and waste affect the local environment

  • Improve the way students and schools approach waste management

  • Give young people the knowledge and practical skills to prevent and manage litter

  • Provide students with a platform to report on litter issues in their communities

  • Encourage collaboration and the sharing of best practices between schools

  • Involve the local community to actively address the issue of litter

The Wrigley Company Foundation is proud of the positive transformation that has occurred in schools and communities around the world through the Litter Less Campaign. Teaching students to be leaders and to work to change littering behaviour and improve their communities is the strength of the programme,” says Anne Vela-Wagner, Executive Director of the Wrigley Company Foundation.

The Wrigley Company Foundation and FEE have already completed seven successful years of collaboration and during the past year analysis shows a positive change in Eco-Schools students’ awareness of litter and waste issues in 30% of the population, when compared with control students. Additionally, positive change in YRE students’ knowledge about waste production, fate and recycling improved by 21% when compared with control students.

“The Litter Less Campaign is a textbook example of how positive collaboration between the corporate world and a respected NGO can realize a shared vision. We highly appreciate the long-term partnership with the Wrigley Company Foundation and we are extremely grateful for the possibility of moving the Litter Less Campaign forward. Their strong commitment and support cannot be taken for granted,” adds CEO of the Foundation for Environmental Education Daniel Schaffer.

About the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)
With members in 77 countries around the world, FEE’s programmes represent the cutting edge in Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education. It is the vision of the Foundation for Environmental Education that its programmes empower people everywhere to live sustainably and in an environmentally conscious manner.

About the Wrigley Company Foundation
The Wrigley Company Foundation has awarded more than $70 million USD since its establishment in 1987. With a focus on oral health, the environment, particularly litter prevention education, and improving Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s site and sourcing communities, it works to build brighter futures around the world.


Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director
Foundation for Environmental Education
E: gosia@fee.global

Reflections on the 9th USLS in Bangkok

Three weeks ago, Joanna Tao and Sungyeon Kwon attended the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) in Bangkok as YRE representatives. During the week-long conference, they attended various sessions, spoke with influential change-makers, increased their networks, and gained knowledge on important topics related to the SDGs. The 9th USLS was well-attended by 1,057 delegates from 87 countries.

After the event, the two students wrote four inspiring articles and made a short video, reflecting on some of the sessions and activities that inspired them the most. For example, read about Joanna’s eye-opening meeting with a young Thai girl from a slum community and about Sungeyon’s understanding of the importance and challenges of Comprehensive Sexuality Education around the world. Go to YRE Exposure to read them.   

“As a young journalist representing YRE global, I cannot be more grateful for this wonderful opportunity given to me by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and YRE Global. As cliché as it sounds, USLS2018 was truly inspiring and life-changing. (...) Being with a room full of future leaders and like-minded young professionals gave me the honor to share my world-view and experiences, creating this global network for further collaboration – the beginning of a ripple effect.” (Joanna Tao)

Finally, don't miss out on the inspiring video about the 9th USLS, which was published by Humanitarian Affairs Asia:

1,057 delegates from 87 countries were represented at the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium. The theme of the Symposium is " Inspiring Confidence, Inspire Change ". It was held on August 1 to 7, 2018 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.

YRE Alumni as Youth Leaders

It has been four months since the UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission was held in Portugal for 42 inspiring participants. The goal was to build their capacities within Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and to inspire them to become Youth Leaders and YRE Ambassadors in their respective countries. Based on recent feedback and reports from the participants, the workshop has been a success! Since April, many of the participants have been highly engaged in a variety of events, projects, workshops, and media productions advocating for sustainable development - both independently and in collaboration with YRE National Operators.    

So far, the participants have managed to host 10 workshops and other educational events, reaching at least 500 people, and even more workshops are being planned. They have created more than 20 articles, blogs, videos and other media productions, reaching at least 8.000 people (see some of the links below). They also continue to collaborate and exchange ideas through the online platform Slack. Last but not least, eight participants were selected to go to the UNESCO "Youth Saves the Planet" conference in Paris. Read more about the event in the article by Joana Pedro and in the blog post by Vinh Le

Links to some of the online media productions made by participants after the workshop:

Listed below are some of the inspiring updates from the workshop participants, explaining how they have used their knowledge in their home countries to spread awareness of ESD:

Adriana and Matej from Slovakia jointly ran a half-day session during a three-day YRE workshop for 30 students aged 11-17 (winners of the YRE competition and the most active reporters) as well as teachers, parents and facilitators. They presented their trip to Portugal and gave an introduction to the SDGs. They also held a small photo competition where the students randomly chose a card with a specific SDG and then had to take a photo reflecting the goal. The photos are shared on the national YRE webpage.

Anastasia from Greece organised a three-hour workshop for 15 students at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, International and European Studies Department. During the first part of the workshop, she presented the role of ESD through FEE and HSPN Programmes. She also showed photos and videos from the YRE Mission / UNESCO workshop in Portugal. The second part of the workshop was dedicated to learning about systems thinking, leadership and the interconnection of modern societal/environmental problems. For the final part of the workshop, the students were split into three teams representing three different sectors (Business, NGO, and Government) and were asked to discuss the issue of inequality and come up with ideas of how to fight inequality in each sector.

Francis from Ghana organised a step down training for 12 young people involved with YRE Ghana as well as the YRE National Operator. “It was very beautiful to share with my fellow change makers what I learnt from the training workshop. It was a platform where I trained all of the YRE-Ghana team to have the same level of understating on ESD and the Sustainable Development Goals.”  He has also helped organise several events about the SDGs and is active in the “Plastic Free Ghana” campaign and the African Youth SDGs Summit. He also got the opportunity to participate in an Ispace Foundation podcast, talking about his experience from the conference and the role of education in achieving the SDGs. It was live streamed on their facebook page while the edited version was sent to the British Council of Ghana.

Francis is very active on social media and has reached a huge number of people through his environmental posts and actions. He has also launched the company EasyGo Collection which is using recycled waste fabric to produce conference and laptop bags.

Kristijan from Macedonia was invited by the Association of Scouts in Macedonia to organize four workshops within the Youth Academy during the period between 4th-9th April 2018. The workshops were on SDGs topics focusing on: Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda of the UN, Gender Equality, and Good Health and Wellbeing. The youth academy gathered 70 youth and 53 youth participated in the workshops lead by Kristijan. The participants were scouts from different regions and cities, with different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

KyAsia from Bermuda participated in the annual “Trashion Show” held at Bermuda College in April. For the event, she made an outfit out of upcycled material and also set up an “Impact Table.” “I was inspired by my time in Lisbon at the Capacity Building Training Workshop - and I wanted to educate people about Sustainable Development. I reached out to local organizations such as “Keep Bermuda Beautiful” “Greenrock,” and “Recycle Bermuda” to aid in this process. “Greenrock” provided an interactive game that shows how long it takes for something to biodegrade, and “Keep Bermuda Beautiful” brought trash art pieces as well as an informative display about microplastics. All of these organizations provided signage for the event to help educate people who attended the event.”

Lauren from France is planning a big ESD training day for approx. 200-500 students at Aix-Marseille’s University in September or October 2018. Moreover, Lauren convinced the managers of a hostel, where she was staying during a work trip in Italy, to get involved in the Green Key programme by bringing some sustainable practices and improvements into their establishment. “I was quite happy about it because for me, ESD is really about being proactive on a daily basis and taking (even small) steps all together!”

Martina from Malta gave a presentation to inspire and motivate YREs to continue with their missions, even after the age of 21. During the presentation, she reached approx. 300 students and it was covered by the predominant national news on TV.  She also published an article on one of the most prominent newspapers in Malta about her experience in Portugal and she is now the official link and aid of students aspiring to become and continue to be YREs in Malta.

Milo from Montenegro did an interview together with the YRE National Operator in Montenegro regarding the activities and impressions from Portugal. The interview is published on the national YRE website as well as a local media station website. They also prepared an interview for the programme "Eko kutak" (Eco corner) which was aired on Radio Kotor. Milo also became a member of the national YRE Jury 2018 and was guest speaker at the annual YRE award ceremony in Montenegro.

Nina from Slovenia is planning to carry out an official workshop/seminar in the next school year together with the YRE National Operator as it will be part of the yearly school plan. Nevertheless, she has already organised two custom-made events within her faculty. One was a paper collection action (from which the money was donated to the local Society for the Protection of Animals) and the other was a cleaning action (litter was removed from the faculty and a nearby forest). Around 15 students and a few people of good will participated in each of the actions. In the invitation, as well as at the beginning of the events, Nina introduced YRE and her experiences and impressions of the conference in Portugal. She also invited the participants to become active in YRE Slovenia.

Phoenix from China is working as a teaching assistant for a new online course “Global Environmental Education” which is run by Cornell Civic Ecology Lab. Over 400 participants from all over the world are enrolled in the course. She is leading the discussions, organising webinars, doing summaries, and reviewing final projects. She also runs a group of 61 participants who are currently taking or have previously taken Cornell EE courses in Jiangsu Province, China.

Vinh from Canada is in the process of creating an NGO for young designers to teach them about the SDGs, empower them to use art and design to bring awareness to the public, and have them adopt sustainable practices within their own lifestyles. He has also taken on the role as admin for the Slack platform.

Wesley from Singapore has become highly active as a volunteer for different events such as the 2018 Earth Hour and World Water Day. He has also signed up for the WWF X HSBC Water Education Programme later in August where he will be educating kids and adults at national libraries about how water is vital to building healthy communities. He has also volunteered to edit and proofread a guidebook that WWF Singapore is creating for primary and secondary school students regarding their schools’ carbon footprint. Lastly, he is developing a website that aims to gather volunteers every now and then to go on interesting sustainability field-works in Singapore - after which a journalistic piece will be published by the volunteers.

Young Reporters at the 9th USLS in Bangkok

Two inspiring students, Joanna Tao and Sungyeon Kwon, have been chosen to participate in the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) as YRE representatives. The event is a week-long leadership development training programme which will bring together 1,000 of the most promising leaders in the world. As stated on the USLS website, "the Programme has been designed for young persons who are committed to making this world a much better place for the human race". The symposium will be held at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand from 1-7 August 2018. 

As well as being regular participants in the training programme, Joanna and Sungyeon will also be working as Young Reporters. During the event, the two of them will be creating posts for the YRE social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtags #YRE_INT, #FEE, and #YouthLeaders. After the event, they will also create more in-depth articles and videos about certain topics that caught their attention during the seven days. Their work will be presented on the YRE Exposure page from the 14th of August. 

Below you can read more about the two participants, including their experience with YRE and their expectations to the event. 

Joanna Tao from New Zealand


"I am an 18 years old student from the University of Auckland, studying the Bachelor of Urban Planning with Honours. Throughout the years, I became aware of more environmental issues as I have noticed growing environmental concern both in my community and globally. That is when my interest in being an environmentalist grew stronger. Through my dedication to improving our global food waste problem by researching into local dumpster diving and food waste problems, I have written a report on dumpster diving in New Zealand. This has resulted in me becoming the national winner for YRE Writing Category for 15-18 years old in New Zealand, December 2016. I look forward to my full participation at the conference as I am honoured to be chosen as a YRE representative. It is expected that I will engage at a high level with other like-minded young people, as well as expand my knowledge of the SDG. Whilst doing so, I would also like to learn from speakers and experts at the conference who were able to utilise their passion for journalism and the environment in their careers. By attending the conference, it will allow me to expand my horizons and learn to advocate for the environment through different channels, on both local and global scale."

Sungyeon Kwon from Korea

Sungyeon Kwon.jpg

"My name is Sungyeon Kwon, and I am an undergraduate student at Korea University. I major in Linguistics and Media & Communication. Collaborating as a team with my best friend, Yunhyun Heo, diverse experience in numerous different video competitions taught me about the power of media. This led me and Yunhyun to join the YRE competition, because we felt strong about the problems climate change brought in our country. The video is a story of a girl who experiences harmful effects of climate change caused by global warming. She realizes the seriousness of the problem and produces a broadcast media to share information on environmental problems. The main character, during the interview to make a film, finds out that climate change will amplify and be inherited to our descendants. To solve this problem, she comes up with the idea of utilizing diverse media to share opinions and information on environmental problems and make a motivation for the public to notice them. This shares the objective of the 13th SDGs goal, climate action, to fight against climate change and its impacts. As a result, the video won an honorable mention award in the 2018 YRE international competition, and I was gracefully selected as YRE representative. Instead, Yunhyun is currently serving his mandatory military service in the Korean Army. Now, as a YRE representative and delegate of Korea, I will be participating in the 2018 UN-USLS (University Scholars Leadership Symposium) in Bangkok, with another YRE representative, Joanna, delegate of New Zealand. During the symposium, I expect to reach youth empowerment, especially regarding the problems related to SDGs. I hope the winning projects of 2018 YRE competition become a motivation for adolescents around the globe to become YRE reporters themselves."

YRE International awarded with the Earth Prize 2018

On 23-24 of June, YRE International Director Gosia Luszczek travelled to Luino, Italy to receive the very first edition of the Earth Prize on behalf of YRE International. She is extremely proud that the hard work of the National Operators, teachers, students, and the YRE International team has been recognized by WEEC (World Environmental Education Congress).

Students and teachers from all over the world (including Canada, Morocco, Slovakia, Sweden and Turkey) have done an excellent job representing YRE at WEEC events over the years. Huge thanks to them! 

The Earth Prize was created by the WEEC Network as a prize for environmental education and landscape. “Earth Prize wants to be a multiplier of positive actions for the environment and the quality of life”, Luca Novelli, artistic director of the award, explains. 

Adriána Henčeková, an aspiring journalist highly involved with YRE in Slovakia, was invited to report on the event as a Young Reporter. Follow her journey to Italy in this inspiring YouTube video and read more about the event and her experiences in the article published on Exposure

YRE International is very grateful for the award and for the collaboration with the WEEC Network. Also many thanks to the City of Luino for hosting the event! Read more about the Earth Prize and the event on the official website

PRESS RELEASE: YRE International Jury and Competition Winners 2018

Contact: Gosia Luszczek, International YRE Director | E: gosia@fee.global
Kristina Madsen, International YRE Coordinator | E: kristina@fee.global

Copenhagen, June 2018

The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) International Jury meeting for the 2018 Competition successfully took place on the 31st of May at the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) head office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

This year, FEE received a total of 178 entries from 30 countries for both the International YRE Competition and for the Litter Less Campaign competition. This is the largest number of entries FEE has ever received, emphasising the great global interest in the YRE programme and the Litter Less Campaign.

The Jury discussed the top national entries from the media categories of articles, photographs and videos across the age groups 11-14, 15-18, 19-21, as well as the International Collaboration category. The Jury also reviewed entries from the Litter Less Campaign.

Taking into account the journalistic qualities of the entries, their use of YRE methodology, their creativeness and relevancy, and their link to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Jury was free to give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, as well as honourable mentions, as they saw fit. The final winners are listed below and will be published on Huffington Post Kids as a prize. All entries can be found on the competition's Exposure page.

International YRE Jury 2018

International YRE Jury 2018

This years’ International Jury was composed of professionals in the fields of environmental journalism and Education for Sustainable Development. The members are:

  • Christopher Slaney, Freelance Journalist
  • Garrette Clark, Sustainable Lifestyles Programme Officer, UNEP
  • Julie Saito, Programme Specialist of Communication, UNESCO
  • Torvald Jacobsson, Founding Partner of Edumanity and COO of TheGoals.org, Lund University (IIIEE)
  • Pedro Marcellino, Documentary Film Producer and Director
  • Mayra Navarrete, Photographer
  • Constant Brand, Press Officer, European Environment Agency
  • Boris Šušmak, FEE Board Member
  • Richard Steed, Communications Officer, FEE

You can find more information on their profiles here

Reflecting on the development of the YRE Programme, Jury member Pedro Marcellino, notes:

“Over the last 20 years of my involvement, first as a student, and now as a jury member, YRE has changed immensely and repeatedly, growing from a European to an international programme, adapting to remain relevant and at the forefront of pivotal changes in the media, technological and environmental education landscapes, and collaborating with thought leaders and agencies spearheading the agenda internationally. The animated discussions at this year’s international competition jury meeting were reflective of this constant reinvention, and indicative not only of an increasing quality in submissions from all around the world over the last 3 years, but also of higher expectations by the jury from year to year.”

The YRE International Competition winners for 2018 are:


11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: Atrazine in drinking water: Slovakia's biggest treasure at risk
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: Fairy Alkima is waiting for the golden ship
Country: Montenegro

Honourable mention
Title: Glitter your life with litter - Lessons from Akosombo International School (AIS)
Country: Ghana

15-18 years old

1st Place
Title: Whiteboard markers: From investigation to change
Country: Slovakia

2nd Place
Title: The drawbacks to clothing consumption
Country: Sweden

3rd Place
Title: REDUCE, REUSE, REFILL - Reducing your plastic waste one cup at a time
Country: Canada

19-21 years old

1st Place
Title: When youth hostel goes with eco-friendly tourism
Country: France

1st Place
Title: Tan Tan: From a garden watered by running water to a barren wasteland looking for drops of water
Country: Morocco


11-14 years old

1st Place (as a reportage photo)
Title: On tiptoes
Country: Slovakia

Note from Jury: Garbage containers should be accessible for everyone while remaining safe.

Honourable mention (as a campaign photo)
Title: Save the octopus
Country: Greece

Honourable mention (as a reportage photo)
Title: Bird in wetland
Country: China

15-18 years old

1st Place (as a campaign photo)
Title: Clean water - a given in the future?
Country: Sweden

1st Place (as a campaign photo)
Title: Garbage feast
Country: South Korea

19-21 years old

Honourable mention (as a reportage photo)
Title: Never ending sunset - Light pollution
Country: Malta

Honourable mention (as a campaign photo)
Title: Make a stand
Country: Slovakia


11-14 years old

1st Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Sticky curse
Country: Slovakia

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: PaperLand
Country: Greece

2nd Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Luehdorfia Research
Country: China

15-18 years old

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Plastic pollution
Country: Canada

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Alexandra township in Johannesburg is invaded by rats: What sustainable solutions do exist?
Country: France / South Africa

19-21 years old

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Green waste - no waste: The campaign to promote bio-waste sorting
Country: Slovakia

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Story to change tomorrow: Paradox of global warming
Country: South Korea

International Collaboration

No awards given this year.


Winners in Litter Less Campaign category

The Jury also discussed the top national entries from schools participating in the Litter Less Campaign. Below are the results of the evaluation:


11-14 years old

1st Place
Title: It’s a nesting nightmare: The untold plastic story
Country: Wales

Honourable mention
Title: The trash around us
Country: Malta

Honourable mention
Title: Plastic waste: A global issue with local solutions
Country: Northern Ireland

15-18 years old

Honourable mention
Title: Looking for a savvy consumer
Country: Israel

Honourable mention
Title: I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, wrapped in plastic; it’s NOT fantastic
Country: Northern Ireland

Honourable mention
Title: Cardigan combats plastic pollution
Country: Wales

19-21 years old

No entries were submitted in this age group


11-14 years old

No awards were given in this age group.

15-18 years old

Honourable mention (as a reportage photo)
Title: Trash does not roll
Country: Spain

19-21 years old

No awards were given in this age group.


11-14 years old

1st Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Litter in your lunch
Country: New Zealand

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Food waste crime report
Country: Northern Ireland

2nd Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Social experiment – waste disposal
Country: Israel

15-18 years old

1st Place (as a reportage video)
Title: Greasy trash
Country: Malta

Honourable mention (as a reportage video)
Title: Thinking outside the box
Country: Israel

19-21 years old

1st Place (as a campaign video)
Title: Waste bin story
Country: Malta

Congratulations to all winners and thank you for your participation!

UNESCO Youth Conference in Paris

Following the successful completion of the Youth Forum / YRE Mission in Portugal as well as other regional workshops for Youth Leadership Training, UNESCO organized an international Youth Conference “Youth Saves the Planet” in Paris on 14-16 May 2018. The overall focus was on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The conference brought together ESD Youth Leaders and young journalists (18-35 years) from all regions of the world. The objective was to continue the capacity-building of ESD Youth Leaders, to begin the process of building a global ESD Young Leaders Network, to raise visibility of ESD actions, and to start developing a draft position paper on the future direction of ESD.

Group photo.jpg

Eight participants from the workshop in Portugal were selected to take part in the conference. Follow the links to read more about each of them: Anastasia Pentagioti (Greece), Francis Ametepey (Ghana), Joana Pedro (Portugal), Kristijan Angeleski (Macedonia), Lauren Ricard (France), Martins Mozga (Latvia), Vinh Le (Canada), Yoh Kai Xiang (Singapore).

To read more about the event from the perspective of the YRE participants, take a look at Joana's article: UNESCO Targets on Education and Vinh's blog post: Systems Thinking on a Global Scale.

UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission 2018

Last month, 15-19 of March, more than 50 people from all over the world gathered in Almada, Portugal for one of the biggest international YRE Mission so far! This three-day workshop focused on Education for Sustainable Development and aimed at creating future Youth Leaders. The event was realized as a cooperation between UNESCO and Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).    

42 inspiring young people, aged between 18 and 35, had been selected to participate due to their specific knowledge, skills, and passion for the environment. Read the profiles of each participant here. 

The first day of the workshop consisted welcome speeches, an ice breaker activity, and four interactive sessions on leadership, systems thinking, conflict transformation, and sustainability.

This knowledge was put to use on the second day when the participants visited and researched different environmental organisations and projects around Lisbon. On this day, the participants also wrote articles, made photo reportages and edited videos about the site visits. Some stayed up all night to deliver the best possible result! Their work can be seen on Exposure - Look for the UNESCO Youth Forum / YRE Mission tagline.

On the third day, the groups presented their work and got feedback from the facilitators and the other participants. The final session was about networking and also served as inspiration for their future role as Youth Leaders.   

For personal reflections on the three days, visit: 
Connie Le’s photo blog
Kristin Rodrigo’s video blog
Vinh Le's blog post
KyAsia Scott-Fishenden's article

Video editor: Kai Xiang (participant from Singapore)

Now, the 42 new Youth Leaders are expected to lead a positive change in their respective countries. Within the next two months, they will be carrying out specific actions to promote environmental awareness in their local communities. Radio interviews, news articles, photo and video blogs, and presentations have already been made! We’ll be following their work and results!   

A big thank you to UNESCO for making this workshop possible and to the Portuguese organisation ABAE for hosting the event. Also thank you to the four amazing facilitators who carried out the sessions:

  • Mona Zoghbi (Sustainable Development Consultant)
  • Emmanuel Koro (Environmental journalist)
  • Pedro Marcelino (Journalist, writer and film producer)
  • Christopher Slaney (Freelance journalist and television news producer)