Young reporters highlight key environmental issues in country through dedicated environmental journalism articles

Posted on 20 February 2014
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Dubai: UAE, February 20, 2014: The winners of the Young Reporters for the Environment Competition have now been announced. The competition, organised in the UAE by Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF), concluded successfully after students submitted informative articles on environmental topics that struck a chord with them. The eight students from Eco-Schools in the UAE attended two workshops hosted by Gulf News to teach them how to write for media and inspire change in their readers’ environmental habits.

A panel of judges including the Editor of Gulf News, Frances Matthew, Associate Editor of Gulf News Malavika Kamaraju, and the Education Manager at EWS-WWF, Ajita Nayar, assessed the entries and are pleased to announce that the winners are:

Winner: Pragya Giannni, a 12 grader from The Indian High School, Dubai,
Runner up: Pratyush Parasuraman, a 12th grader from Delhi Private School, Sharjah.

The winning entry by Pragya Gianni looked at how people use transport, and recorded a change in habits as people switched from individual cars to shared or public transport. Meanwhile, runner up Pratyush Parasuraman campaigned to reduce the number of plastic bags used when shopping. The winning entries succeeded in combining good story-telling backed by well-sourced quotes with clear data collected from the students’ respective campaigns.

Ajita Nayar, Education Manager of EWS-WWF, said: “A key factor highlighted through this competition is the value schools bring to nurturing environmental awareness as well as the responsibility schools have in paving the way for a sustainable future. Environmental education in schools bear a direct influence in encouraging the young minds of tomorrow to adopt sustainable practices for the benefit of our planet.”

The Young Reporters for the Environment promotes young people to educate themselves and others on sustainable development by producing engaging and creative environmental journalism. Students investigate environmental issues and report on them through written and photographic journalism, and whenever possible, propose solutions.

The Young Reporters for the Environment competition was part of EWS-WWF’s environmental education programme, Eco-Schools. Eco-Schools is an international certification programme by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that guides schools on a journey of sustainability. The programme combines classroom study with environmental action, mainly led by students, both in their school and local communities, inspiring them to lead the change towards a greener world.

Ajita Nayar continued: “Our Eco-Schools programme invites students to devise solutions to some of the biggest sustainability issues in their immediate school communities. The skills they learn and the responsibility and leadership they adopt through the programme means every Eco-School student is acquiring the fundamental skills required to be a part of the next generation of eco-leaders. Nowhere is this more evident than in the articles submitted for this competition. The YRE competition has succeeded in empowering students to develop, and voice, their environmental awareness. ”
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