The role of the Earth Champions Foundation is to nurture and protect the environment through initiating change within local communities. The Earth Champions Quest invites the community to nominate those outstanding and everyday people or organisations that are actively working in the areas of water, energy, transport, air, biodiversity, waste management, built environment and wellbeing.

The role

Our goal is to help establish best practices and inspire the discovery of groundbreaking ideas to reduce climate change that can be implemented by countries, cities and individuals.

This can be achieved through our Quests.

The Earth Champions® Quest invites the community to nominate those outstanding and everyday people or organisations that are actively working in the areas of water, energy, transport, air, biodiversity, waste management, built environment and wellbeing.

These unsung local heroes, who are striving to protect the environment without recognition or reward, are nominated from within communities.

Through this initiative, they can become recognised leaders and mentors in community programmes that bring people together, empower them and show them how to make change.

Nominees are interviewed and then reviewed by the Earth Champions International Advisory Committee, chaired by Professor Tim Flannery (previously Sir Crispin Tickell), which includes UNEP and IUCN.

Communities are then invited to learn and adopt the best practices in programmes led by local Earth Champions.

With the Champions at the helm, community environmental programmes are put in place with the support of the community and the Earth Champions Alumni.

Sharing knowledge

In turn, as programmes embed within the community and become

‘best practices’,  these are shared with other communities around the world and are available to learn from within the Knowledge Pond.

Another key aspect of the programme is the State of the Local Planet Report that records the conditions and status of the local environment in simple and easily understood language. This acts as a ‘here-and-now’ report from which change and improvements made through the Earth Champions programme can be measured and recorded.

Getting Award

Nelson Mandela presenting the first Earth Champions Award – Australia 2000

Earth Champions®: The History

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.

Australia Quest

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. Residents were invited to nominate their own ecological heroes and the result was 47 Earth Champions.

Switzerland Quest

At the launch of the Canton Vaud Earth Champions Quest, which took place at the World Conservation Union (IUCN), 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’.

China Quest

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 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.

Bristol region Quest

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.

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”.

Global Quests

Our vision is to hold Earth Champions Olympiads and we want to hear from cities and countries who are interested in joining us to achieve this goal.

How an Earth Champions® Quest works

The Quest has eight phases: