The 17th edition of Earth Charter Italian Youth Contest, organized by Green Cross Italy got more than 30.000 students involved. More than 400 students of 14 schools were declared winners. They were received by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano on the 26th October in the Presidential Palace gardens. The President awarded them the certificate attesting their victory.
The cash prizes, reserved to the schools, will be used to make small environmental protection projects. The students themselves will choose the project that will be realized with the money received.
“It’s good to see that this event is not only an appointment but has become a recurrence, during which President Napolitano receives us annually here at the Quirinale,” said Guido Pollice, founding president of Green Cross Italy. He announced the designation of the new President, Elio Pacilio.
In his new managerial role, Elio Pacilio stressed that it is necessary to mitigate the consequences of climate change and to achieve real adaptation. He also underlined the need for “ecological conversion” of adults and children – through environment friendly lifestyles and the transition to green economy.
“We have the knowledge, means and resources,” said Pacilio, “ but we still need a strong political will to find an agreement. International commitment of Green Cross will be increasingly intense on it, during Copenhagen and after it, so that, through the dialogue, we will overcome all the obstacles.”
The President of the Republic encouraged the organizers and the government for their commitment and greater attention to major environmental problems. He noted that climate change causes dramatic amplification of the consequences of natural phenomena and that the lack of attention to the environment translates into painful tragedies.
Answering questions from young students, President Napolitano declared that the current economic crisis should
not stop investments in favour of the environment. On the contrary, the environment must become the priority, he said.
Also present on the occasion were the Minister for Environment, Stefania Prestigiacomo, and Professor Rita Levi Montalcini. They underlined the importance of the “human capital” to take on environmental emergencies.
“The Green Cross contest has a long tradition,” declared Minister Prestigiacomo. “It is an important project because it spreads the environmental culture, both as knowledge and risks that runs the environmental balance of our planet, and as collective responsibility, because each of us can contribute to environmental protection. “
From today, the contest enters in its 18th year, and new subject will be “the Earth change, and us?”, allowing the students, once again, to become young reporters of climate change.