23 Apr 2018 Press release Sustainable Development Goals

UN Environment and Weibo join forces to launch Young Champions of the Earth in China

  • UN Environment teams up with popular Chinese social media platform Weibo to launch Young Champions of the Earth in China 
  • The social media platform reaches more than 392 million users monthly
  • The initiative sets out to inspire, support and encourage young people aged 18-30 to tackle big environmental issues and find innovative solutions

United Nations Environment has joined forces with Chinese social media giant Sina Weibo to roll out a Young Champion of the Earth for China prize.The Young Champions of the Earth prize, supported by Covestro - a leading manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials - is an annual award recognizing outstanding potential to protect the environment.

News of the strategic partnership between UN Environment and Weibo - the popular Chinese microblogging site launched in 2009, has already reached an estimated 130 million users. The partnership to create a “Young Champions of the Earth, China” program is expected to inspire hundreds of young people to champion environmental causes. 

The collaboration sets out to celebrate, empower and support talented young innovators in China aged between 18 and 30 with promising ideas, to protect or restore the environment. The initiative will support investment in innovative solutions to pressing environmental challenges in China, through a Young Champions of the Earth, China.”

"China's top leadership has shown strong determination to turn the country into a greener place and relies on the people to create the changes," said UN Environment executive director Erik Solheim.

Mr. Cao Guowei, CEO and President of Sina - the tech company behind Weibo - and President of Weibo, said: “We are very honored to team up with UN Environment to seek out budding eco-warriors. Many young people on our platform are interested in environmental protection and engaged in charities, so we hope the new generation will lead the way in safeguarding our earth and beautifying our country.”

Sina Weibo is an active social media platform promoting public welfare, making it easier for people to participate in important social issues like environmental protection. As part of the agreement, Weibo will construct a China-specific digital platform and application portal to present information about the initiative and receive applications. 

It will also set up a national call for applications through media platforms and networks. A Chinese National Jury comprising the CEO of Weibo, the Head of UN Environment’s China Office and up to five other prominent environmental leaders will be set up to select three to five winners across the country.

An award ceremony in Beijing, China will recognize the winners as Young Champions of the Earth in China. One of the winners from China selected by Global Jury will join a global ceremony attended by Young Champions of the Earth winners selected from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Asia Pacific and West Asia as well as Africa in September 2018.

Last year, six Champions of the Earth were chosen after more than 600 proposals were screened. Their entrepreneurial talents focus on tackling a broad range of issues, from ensuring food sustainability and developing no-waste clothing, to hydroponic growing system for commercial greenhouses that produce food with a lower environmental footprint.  


About UN Environment:

UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

About Covestro:

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium polymers, Covestro has a key position in the value chain of many industries, including auto manufacturing, construction, electronics, and wood processing. Covestro likes to use this position to push sustainability and innovation further together with our workforce of 16,000 employees, customers, partners and young talents around the world. Sustainable thinking and acting is imperative to preserve the planet and improve the quality and safety of the lives of millions.

For more information, please contact:

Wenjing Yan, Digital Communications, UN Environment, wenjing.yan[at]un.org