The five winners of the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day (WED) Challenge 2012 have been announced – representing exciting and innovative projects that helped raise environmental awareness across the globe.
UNEP’s goodwill ambassadors – supermodel and activist Gisele Bündchen, Hollywood actor Don Cheadle and Chinese actor and activist Li Bingbing – all recorded video messages encouraging people to register their projects.
Observance of World Environment Day began in 1972 as a way to raise awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action. This year’s theme for the Day – ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ – sought to underscore the need for everyone to play a part in keeping humankind’s ecological footprints within planetary boundaries.
Maji Mazuri Centre International in Kenya won the prize in the ‘best delivers effective and substantive impact’ category for organizing a communal clean-up day in Nairobi’s Mathare settlement that mobilized over 2000 people. Located in Nairobi, Maji Mazuri Centre International runs an initiative called Green Heroes, in which youth focus on organizing and improving waste management in Mathare.