What is our Mission?
Earth Champions strives to inspire communities to protect the environment by seeking, celebrating and collaborating with those dedicated to restoring and sustaining earth. We give recognition to outstanding environmental leaders from grassroots to corporate and national champions. Our Earth Champions are individuals initialising and mobilising environmental change to overcome the challenges we face and transform our approach towards a more sustainable and hopeful future. Our Champions are recognised as part of an environmental legacy that highlights the potential of individual and collective action towards sustainable development.
"It will take a local, national and global effort – with individuals, businesses and governments getting involved – to better the planet. To cope with this intimidating set of problems, we have to accept a sort of bewildering complexity of responsibilities. We need individual champions to see what should be done, we need community champions, we need government champions, and we need global champions -- all interacting with each other to try and cope, as cope we must.".
- Sir Crispin Tickell, at the launch of the Hong Kong Earth Champions Quest on 3rd August 2008.
What is our Mission?
The mission is to inspire communities to protect the environment by finding the local unsung heroes that have practical on-the-ground solutions for tackling local problems. The programme helps people of all ages and backgrounds by giving them the recognition for their existing projects and ventures and provides young people with alternate heroes and role models and shows them how to make positive changes locally. These solutions are shared via a “Knowledge Pond” to help many more communities to integrate these solutions into their local community to give them positive actions that tackle today’s complex environmental issues. The Earth Champions initiative is based on the principle that both small and significant solutions to many environmental problems can be found within communities, by individuals, organisations and government. And that it is these very people who are best equipped to inspire, lead and teach others.
How do we achieve this?
Earth Champions Foundation strives to conserve and improve the local and global environment through public engagement and education. It does this by working with communities to find and showcase grassroots heroes of ecological and well-being best practice, bringing together personal catalyst stories, with a unique system of world class expert validation and a database of best practices. In this way it seeks to inspire all people, especially young people, by promoting outstanding role models demonstrating that there is a positive future ahead filled with hope rather than despair.
Our achievements so far...
The Earth Champions Foundation has undertaken Quests in Hong Kong, Switzerland and Australia, developing a knowledge base of world class ideas evaluated by an international panel of experts. This inspirational Foundation implements its grass roots initiative every four years in a different city around the world. The programme lasts for one year during which Earth Champion nominations take place, hero’s are celebrated and community programmes are designed according to proposed future initiatives.
The first Earth Champions Award presented by Nelson Mandela in Melbourne, on the 8th of September in 2000, went to Gina Litton of Western Australia for her work saving the Old Great Jarrah Forests.
A second Australian programme was held in Byron Shire, in 2002. Residents were invited to nominate their own ecological heroes and the result was 47 Earth Champions.
At the launch of the Canton Vaud Earth Champions Quest, which took place at the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in 2006, Mr Daniel Zurcher (Director, Environment Technology Services, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forest and Landscape BUWAL) spoke on the importance of fostering local commitment on issues of internationally recognised concern.
Achim Steiner, Director General IUCN, now Director of UN Environment Programme also welcomed the Earth Champions programme and of the 76 Earth Champions, said ‘This is the first time we have found local, Swiss, heroes’.
In 2008, Christine Loh helped to initiate the Hong Kong programme with the support of the Fu Tak Iam Foundation and the Hong Hong Gorvernment.
The Hong Kong Earth Champions Quest was launched on 1 August 2008 at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Central, Hong Kong, which attracted 27 media stories.
The programme was met with great enthusiasm with 239 Earth Champion nominations in just 8 weeks.
In June 2014 Mayor George Ferguson launched the Bristol Region Quest at the Arnolfini Theatre in Bristol. Sir Crispin Tickell, Dr Edward de Bono and The Young Stars spoke at the event.
The Foundation Received 127 nominations of which 71 were awarded Earth Champions at the ceremony at the Bristol Zoo Gardens in June 2015.
Director General of the IUCN Ms Inger Andersen presided over the awards saying 'I am so pleased to be following in the footsteps of my predecessors and supporting the Foundation, their work is extremely valuable".
The Earth Champions Foundation was invited to speak twice at the Royal Geographical Society and to participate at the Clinton Global Initiative in Hong Kong.