In the run-up to Rio+20, UNCCD called children and youth around the world to tell us what future they want for land and soil. The theme for the submissions was the theme for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification
: “Healthy soil sustains your life: LET’S GO LAND-DEGRADATION NEUTRAL”.
Contributions were accepted from children and youth of age 25 and below in all UN languages. A jury of UNCCD Secretariat staff selected four winners, whose contributions will be disseminated during the World Day to Combat Desertification, which will be celebrated in Rio on 17 June. These winners are:
1. Children from Eco Schools, Uganda
Kiconco Melody Blessing, 12, and Ndagire Brendah Nyakato, 14, are representatives of the Eco-pupils parliament at the St. Aloysius Primary School in Mbarara, South Western Uganda.
Read their winning essay "Healthy soil sustains life, let's go land degradation neutral" here and see what they do to combat land degradation here
Kobusingye Dianah, 14, and Nuwagaba Benjamin, 14, are from Mbarara SDA primary school. Benjamin is the Speaker and Diana is the Clerk at the Eco-pupils' parliament at their school. Read their essay "The future of land and soil" here and find out what they do here.
2. Igono Victor Ojonugwa, Nigeria
Igono Victor Ojonugwa, 19, is a two-time representative of Nigeria at the international biology olympiad. Igono studies biology at the University and loves writing. Read Igono's winning essay "A gift for the future" here.
3. Esalu Felix, Uganda
Esalu Felix, 21, is a project coordinator of the Kamod Youth HIV/AIDS Support in Uganda.
Read Esalu's winning essay "What children and youth want for the future of land and soil" here.
4. Kehkashan Basu, United Arab Emirates
Born on 5 June, the World Environment Day, Kehkashan Basu, 11, feels that it was pre-ordained for her to take care of Mother Earth. Kehkashan is Regional Ambassador for the Middle East for TUNZA Ecogeneration, working for a green and sustainable future with children and youth. She is country coordinator of Green the Gene , Peace Ambassador of Emerging Future Youth Network and Hub Leader of Children of Earth.
Read Kehkashan's winning essay "Let us go land degradation neutral - Save it from destruction" here. You can also see what Kehkashan's doing to help local communities with waste segregation and beach cleaning.