Russian Youth Save Park and Ride to Volvo Adventure Victory
A campaigning project to rescue and revive an endangered and environmentally-sensitive urban park in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has won the 2008 Volvo Adventure and the US$10,000 first prize. The five students of the 'Green Sail' team, beat off stiff competition at the World Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, earlier this week.
The finalists, aged 13 - 17 from 15 countries, had all presented outstanding projects tackling a wide range of environmental challenges facing their community, with flow on benefits to the worldwide environment.
Second prize winners of US$6,000 were a team from Macedonia that saved the last water buffaloes in their community. Third prize of US$4,000 was awarded to a team from Comoros, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, where the group shifted from poachers to protectors of the endangered Hawksbill Turtle.
The participants had the opportunity to present their projects to an audience of 500 young environmentalists and a six-panel jury. The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) was asked to participate on the jury, represented by Rod Abson of the World Scout Bureau who said: "Judging these entries was very challenging as they were of a very high standard and tackling a diverse range of environmental issues. It was inspiring to see what these young peoples have chosen to do to ensure their environment is protected now and for the future."
Scouts were amongst the finalists, including a Troop from the Boy Scouts of America that focused on getting the lead out of fishing, a Brazilian team that offset the carbon emissions from their school for one month as well as more Scouts inter-mixed within the other teams.
Participants had opportunities to explore other environmental subjects such as learning about the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and their work in tackling ozone issues, learning about natural disasters with a workshop from WOSM and sharing concerns for the future security of clean water. Exploring the Swedish environment and culture were an important part of the experience also.
For more information on the Volvo Adventure, sponsored by UNEP, and to enter your youth-lead environment project, please go to: www.volvoadventure.org.