UNESCO & The Earth Project Young Ambassadors

In April 2021, UNESCO connected with The Earth Project (tEP), to provide a 6-month virtual internship to talented young environmental enthusiasts from around the world. More than 350 individuals responded to the call and through a rigorous selection process, 22 young ambassadors from 19 countries were chosen.

The program was designed and co-lead by the tEP technical team and undergraduate Earth Sciences student Sofia Panasiuk from the University of Toronto, with support from PhD glaciology student Charlotte Curry (Belfast/Sheffield).

During the first 3 months the Young Ambassadors received weekly guest talks from 12 world-class environmental experts, with topics ranging from plastic pollution, biodiversity loss, ecosystem restoration to formalising climate change as part of the school curriculum.

The programme also included workshops on digital media platforms, UN International Day events, global public surveys, as well as how to best communicate environmental science to citizens all over the world. Some of the highlights of their training culminated with their contributions to Earth Day and their running of World Environment Day. For the latter event, the Young Ambassadors interviewed more than 30 experts from both their own countries and further afield, asking critical questions about key Earth challenges such as provision of clean water, sustainable architecture, efficacy of tree planting and messaging around geohazards. During this event the Young Ambassadors presented the combined results of their climate education survey and pollution survey, the former receiving more than 500 responses from around the world.

Here, Young Ambassadors Dorothy and Mich explain the key findings from the climate education survey.

In the second half of the program, they partook in workshops on environmental entrepreneurship, fundraising, governance structure and science communications, including talks from Professor Iain Stewart MBE and tEP and Professor John Ludden CBE. Many helped tEP in interviewing some of the world’s best wildlife photographers as part of an ongoing UNESCO/tEP collaboration; the COP26 Photography Countdown event.

During the latter stages of the summer/early autumn, coinciding with the final months of the YAP, a number of UNESCO IGCP project leaders provided enlightening talks about their projects. Following on from a series of workshops led by UNESCO’s and tEP’s science communications team, the young ambassadors chose a sub-selection of the IGCP projects to practice their own science communication skills.

Watch the insightful talks delivered by some of the IGCP project leaders and the corresponding infographics created by the Young Ambassadors:

IGCP 639 Sea Level changes from minute to millennia
Infographics by Autumn Joseph

IGCP 636 Geothermal Resources for Energy Transition
Infographics by Erece Sanchéz

IGCP 672 Himalayan glaciers
Infographics by Arijit Goswami and Nisha Walvekar

IGCP 736 SEDSNet Science and Education for Sustainable Development
Infographics by Mich Jane Awuor, Dorothy Kazombo Mwale and Joycelyn N.M. Biya

IGCP 669 Identification of seismogenic faults in LATAM

The young ambassadors graduated on 30th Sept 2021 and their Feedback was exceptionally positive and satisfying for both UNESCO and tEP teams who devoted so much time and care into this training program.

We wish them all the very best on their onward journeys as environmental role models, leaders and Earth Stewards.


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