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Ecology: U.N. to Honor Young Saviors of the World

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The United Nations Organization is about to honor seven young scientists from all over the world who came up with brilliant ideas designed to help create a cleaner planet. The recipients of the ‘Young Champions of the Earth’ prize will be recognized during the U.N. General Assembly on September 26th, 2018.

Each of them will receive 15,000 U.S. Dollars in seed funding for their projects “as well as mentorship and technical support to amplify their big idea”, the U.N. says. At ages between 18 and 30, these young geniuses indeed have the potential to change things for the better.

One of them is Shady Rabab from Egypt, who will receive the prize for addressing poverty and waste management in Egypt by making musical instruments from trash and training young people in a band. His idea is just as convincing as the one Hugh Weldon from Ireland came up with. His smartphone app calculates its user’s ecologic footprint.

Heba Al-Farra from Kuwait supports female environmental professionals in the Middle East and North Africa, while Arpit Dhupar from India invented a technique which filters 90 percent of particulate matter from Diesel engines and turns it into ink, without impairing the engine’s performance. The automotive industry should be interested.

Miranda Wang is one of the seven winners. Photo source: Youtube

The young Chinese lady Miao Wang started an initiative called Better Blue. It hopes “to build an eco-evaluation system to redefine the diving industry and empower every diver and diving center to become advocates and practitioners in marine conservation through capacity building and citizen-scientific programs.” Also there is Gator Halpern from the Bahamas. He is working on restoring endangered reefs by launching a network of coral farms.

One of the most promising ecological inventions was contributed by the seventh winner: Miranda Wang from the United States of America. Her goal is to reduce the amount of plastics sent to oceans and landfills, by deploying a new chemical recycling technology “to upcycle unrecyclable plastic waste.”

Miranda Wang co-founded the company BioCellection. She and her team developed a chemical process that transforms plastics into renewable chemicals. During their pilot project, which it is running in California this year, Wang and her colleagues want to process 17 metric tons of plastic waste.

Miranda Wang’s project seems to have the potential to contribute to resolving one of the world’s biggest problems, which is plastic in the oceans. The latter endangers whales and other species in the oceans, as well as humans. The plastic crisis is being discussed by environmental organizations and politicians around the world. Miranda Wang’s idea might be part of the answer.

“For all the urgent environmental challenges we face, these Young Champions are a powerful reminder that the solutions to these challenges are within our grasp,” the Head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim, said. “Each of these winners has a unique story to tell. Taken together, the message our Young Champions send to the world is even stronger: Together we can innovate the future we want while preserving the environment we need.”

The Young Champions of the Earth Prize was started last year. UN Environment, the organizer, says is was “the leading global voice on the environment.” This U.N. division works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and organizations across the world.

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