26 May :‘The Young Environmentalist of the Year Award’ is the prestigious annual event celebrating the innovative suggestion of young people aged 12-18 to conserve, protect and educate their community about the environment. The award is given by National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Ministry of Environment and Forests to the best participant of the ‘Explore the Environment Group’ (class VIII, IX, X & XI).Students- environmental heroes of this age-group too often go unrecognized. Thus, the “Young Environmentalist of the Year Award’ was started in 1999 on the occasion of the 21st Anniversary of the NMNH. On that occasion, a function was held at the Vigyan Bhavan in which the award was given by the then Honourable Prime Minister Shri A B Vajpayee in the presence of Shri Suresh Prabhu, the then Minister of Environment & Forests. From that year onwards, the award is generally given at the Foundation day function of the NMNH, on 5th June every year. The NMNH was opened to public on 5th June 1978, on the occasion of World Environment Day. Their concerns and efforts to protect the world’s natural resources are increasing to the well-being of the planet. This continues today with its original mission to annually honor student environmental hero from all over the country. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the environment.
The winner receives an award of Rs 10,000, a trophy, a certificate ,a medal and a scroll.The Young Environmentalist of the Year Award views student leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. These determined young citizens begin with local action in their own ‘backyard’ and are successful to start environment friendly actions through their parents and family members. Through recognizing these individual leader, the Award prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.
The Prize Winner
The work of Award winners often focuses on the suggestions protecting endangered ecosystems and species, combating destructive development projects, promoting sustainability, influencing environmental policies and striving for environmental justice.
The Award amplifies the voices of these student leaders and provides them with national recognition that enhances their credibility, worldwide visibility for the issues they champion and financial encouragement of Rs 10,000/- to pursue their vision of a renewed and protected environment
The event took place on 22nd April,2009 on the occasion of Earth Day. This year the Young Environmentalist of the year Award-2009 was based on a National Level written Quiz Competition. It was held at five centres of NMNH namely New Delhi, Mysore, Bhopal, Sawai Madhopur and Bhubaneshwar. ). Participation was restricted to 200 students in each venue on first come first served basis. The best participant who got maximum marks is selected for the Young Environmentalist of the Year award-2009. The entries were scrutinised at each venue to select Regional Prize Winners (First, Second and Third). All the three best entries from each of the five venues, totalling 15, were judged for selection of the National Prize Winner. The student who got the maximum marks from out of the 15 entries is selected for the Young Environmentalist of the Year Award (YEYA 2009).