Young winners from 14 countries honored at Connect4Climate event
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 – On the ground floor of the World Bank, an institution of development experts devoted to ending extreme poverty, the fight against climate change today took a creative turn: a music video from Trinidad won first place in the global Voices4Climate awards.
Stephon Gabriel’s “A Changing World,” with its message to “rise up, unite up, to help this earth be how she used to be,” was selected from more than 1000 entries from 116 countries. He was one of 19 young people from 14 countries who received prizes in the Voices4Climate competition for their photographs, videos, music videos, and podcasts about climate change.
The winners in the competition, which was organized by Connect4Climate (C4C) in collaboration with MTV and TerrAfrica, were announced during a gathering that attracted hundreds of people at the end of the work day in Washington.
Applauding the winners at the event, “Connect4Climate: Right Here, Right Now,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim encouraged young people from around the world to take an active role in helping to combat the threat of climate change.
“To deliver bold solutions on climate change, we need to listen to and engage broader and more diverse audiences,” said President Kim. “We need to hear the voices of young people. Their futures are at stake. The time for all generations to act is now.”
The winners of the competition came from Bangladesh, Colombia, Croatia, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Connect4Climate also joined forces with UK-based environmental and arts organization Artists Project Earth (APE) to launch a special edition of Rhythms del Mundo: Africa - a charity compilation album featuring tracks by Eminem, Beyonce, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and many others in support of climate change projects around the world. Live performances by two of the album’s featured artists, award-winning Malian musician, Rokia Traore and Kenyan rappers TS1 raised the spirits of the evening’s guests and provided resonant proof of the power of creativity to inspire change.
Kim’s remarks were followed by a moving testimonial from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams who shared her personal story about the power of individual action with her work as cofounder of Community of Peace People in 1976, an organization dedicated to promoting a peaceful resolution to the violence at that time in Northern Ireland.
Also speaking at the event today, Italian Minister for the Environment, Corrado Clini, said, “By giving a platform to youth to tell their stories about climate change, Connect4Climate is elevating local voices to the global conversation about climate change. Effective change will only happen when all voices are heard, and Italy is proud to be a supporter of this groundbreaking project.”
The CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, Dr. Naoko Ishii, marveled at the commitment of young people to find ways to improve their environment and the optimism she felt for the decisions the next generation will take on climate change.
“Young people will inherit our environment, and Connect4Climate seeks to give them a voice,” said Dr. Ishii. “Engaged youth can help us change the business-as-usual approach that has led to rising sea levels, severe drought, melting glaciers, and extreme weather events.”
The Voices4Climate event was hosted by Connect4Climate (C4C) – a global partnership dedicated to climate change communication and action launched by the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the Global Environment Facility in 2011. With a coalition of more than 150 partners and on online community of nearly half a million followers, C4C is helping, through social media and the web, to amplify voices of local stakeholders who have stories to tell about climate change.
Connect4Climate and TVN Media Group, in partnership with leading media networks and academic institutions, also launched their latest competition i°Change: a new global competition for the best original video message that addresses climate change issues and action. Students from universities worldwide are invited to participate. Donald Ranvaud, chair of the jury and producer of such notable films as City of God, The Constant Gardener, and Farewell My Concubine launched the new competition at the event. Winners will receive a scholarship, recognition at the Grand Prix of Advertising in Milan, and exposure at film festivals in Cannes, New York, and Beijing.
At Milan Design Week this April 9-14, 2013, Connect4Climate, in partnership with Alcantara, will be hosting a pavilion space designed by Italian architect Giulio Cappellini using eco-friendly Alcantara materials. The space will feature an interactive C4C exhibition and a series of panel discussions on sustainability and design.