Italian President awards winners of 21st Green Cross Earth Charter Youth Contest

The imposing hall of Rome’s Quirinal Palace today welcomed some 200 students, who were the winners of the 21st Earth Charter Youth Contest, an environmental education initiative launched by Green Cross Italy, which were awarded by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.

The talented students were chosen from among more than 30,000 participants in the competition, which was held during the 2012-2013 school year and titled Inizia da te: l’acqua (Starts with you: the water).

The theme of the latest edition aimed at protecting and conserving water, our “blue gold,” and it inspired students to study and research, collect testimonies from adults and older people, make inquiries, paint, and produce video promotional spots and documentaries to encourage children and adults to become protagonists of a better future.

“The competition’s young winners are urging civil society institutions to immediately start working towards changing their lifestyles,” said Elio Pacilio, Green Cross Italy President and Green Cross International Board Member. “Protecting water means preserving its quality but, above all, being able to manage and plan the correct use of this precious resource, and ensuring it is always associated with the concepts of peace and wellbeing, not calamity and conflict.”

The ceremony, which was attended by representatives of the Italian Ministries of Education, Environment and Agricultural Policies, also commemorated the victims of recent floods on the Italian island of Sardinia. President Napolitano met a delegation of Sardinian students, who had helped clean and restore classrooms inundated by the flooding.

The title of the upcoming 2013-2014 edition of the contest is “Da cosa (ri) nasce cosa (one things leads to another),” and Green Cross Italy is calling on young people to join in by putting their ideas for garbage disposal into action. Winners will receive a cash prize to support environmental initiatives in their schools.

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