connect2earth Prize Awarded | WWF

connect2earth Prize Awarded



Posted on 06 October 2008
The connect2earth winner, Sofia Mateus, at the opening ceremony of the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona
The connect2earth winner, Sofia Mateus, at the opening ceremony of the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona
© WWF
Barcelona, Spain - Sofia Mateus, a 29-year-old Swiss/Portuguese, is the grand prize winner of an international youth competition running on connect2earth, the green on-line community where young people can have their say about the environment by uploading videos, pictures and comments.

Connect2earth was launched earlier this year by WWF and IUCN, and is powered by Nokia. There were over 3,300 submissions from more than 190 countries, and they can be seen by going to the connect2earth website. Sofia's video, entitled "Why", depicts the impact of overpopulation on the planet.

"connect2earth gave me the opportunity to express myself. I thought of a concept, I created the video and it was successful. connect2earth is an excellent way to reach people", says Sofia Mateus. "We all want more money and better lives, but the earth is already overpopulated, and look where this is leading us. How are we going to deal with this situation? The title 'Why' is meant to engage people".

The video, which can be seen below, took the top award from the campaign. However, others winners included Chiel Maas, 28, from the Netherlands, with an image called “Can man and animal live aside?”. The best text message prize was won by Prajwal Bhattarai, 18, from Nepal, with a poem entitled “I Don’t Need Wheels; Just Don’t Break Nature’s Feet”. The best video award went to Dean Omori, 40, from the UK, with a video based on a self-composed song and entitled “How can you sleep?

After the entries were ranked by the connect2earth community, the grand prize winner was selected by a panel of prominent conservationists, including broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Otesha Project Founding Director Jessica Lax, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement Wangari Maathai, TERI Executive Director Dr Leena Srivastava and UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner.

Sofia was invited to participate in the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona and present her ideas directly to political, environmental and business leaders from around the world. The congress takes place every four years and serves as a platform for the world’s leading decision-makers in sustainable development to debate, exchange ideas, explore solutions and vote on actions for a diverse and sustainable world. Over 8,000 experts take part in this 10-day event, representing governments, NGOs, academia, and the private sector.

“The environmental problems that we face today are global and their effects will fall hardest on the younger generation”, says James Leape, Director General of WWF International. “The connect2earth competition demonstrates that if we can find innovative ways to engage with young people, they are equally concerned and more than ready to respond with possible solutions.”

The site, which can also be used on mobile phones (www.connect2earth.mobi), will continue to inspire dialogue among young people on a variety of topical environmental issues and a new competition concept will be announced soon.
The connect2earth winner, Sofia Mateus, at the opening ceremony of the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona
The connect2earth winner, Sofia Mateus, at the opening ceremony of the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona
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www.connect2earth.com
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