Shady Rabab makes musical instruments from waste. Picture: Facebook

Durban - They are young, they are innovative and their ideas may soon be reaching all corners of the world.

Seven young environmental entrepreneurs from around the world will on Wednesday be honoured as Young Champions of the Earth, by the United Nations Environment in New York.

The winners of the Young Champions of the Earth award are aged between 18 and 30, and their ideas are aimed at helping save the world.

The winners are:

  • Shady Rabab, from Egypt, taking home the prize for addressing poverty and waste management in Egypt by making musical instruments from trash and training young people in a band.

  • Hugh Weldon, from Ireland, recognized for his smartphone app which calculates a user’s ecological footprint based on scanned shopping receipts.
  • Heba Al-Farra, for her support to female environmental professionals in the green industry across the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Arpit Dhupar, from India, for his groundbreaking technique that filters 90 percent of particulate matter from diesel generators and turning it into ink, without impairing mechanical performance.

  • Miao Wang, from China, receiving the prize for her Better Blue initiative, which empowers divers to conserve and protect the ocean.
  • Miranda Wang, from California, for her novel technology to turn plastic pollution into new resources for a sustainable economy.
  • Gator Halpern, from the US, who launched a network of coral farms to restore endangered reefs, restoring vibrant ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.

Each Young Champion will receive US $15,000 (about R210 000) in seed funding, training and mentoring.

“For all the urgent environmental challenges we face, these Young Champions are a powerful reminder that the solutions to these challenges are within our grasp,” Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim said. “Each of these winners has a unique story to tell. Taken together the message our Young Champions send to the world is even stronger: Together we can innovate the future we want while preserving the environment we need.”

Seven young people from around the world will be honoured as Champions of the Earth.
Seven young people from around the world will be honoured as Champions of the Earth.