PRESS RELEASE: UNESCO awards World Cleanup Day with the Education for Sustainable Development prize

24/09/18 UNESCO has named the action of World Cleanup Day and its Keep It Clean Plan as one of the three winners of this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development. This year’s winners were chosen by an independent international jury from 87 nominations, submitted by the governments of UNESCO Member States and organisations […]

24/09/18

UNESCO has named the action of World Cleanup Day and its Keep It Clean Plan as one of the three winners of this year’s UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development.

This year’s winners were chosen by an independent international jury from 87 nominations, submitted by the governments of UNESCO Member States and organisations in official partnership with UNESCO. The core selection criteria were the projects’ potential for transformation, their innovative quality and the ability to embrace all three dimensions of sustainability – the economy, society and the environment.

World Cleanup Day united 15 million people across 158 countries and territories for the biggest waste collection day in human history on 15 September. “This has been an amazing shared effort of thousands of organisers and leaders who want to raise awareness and create a lasting change in their neighbourhoods,” said Eva Truuverk, head of the managing board of the Let’s Do It! Foundation, propelling the World Cleanup Day. She added, “A massive cleanup action is the best way to truly engage people and bring the problem into focus, but we have always seen it as just a beginning. To truly solve the global mismanaged waste crisis, we need commitment and very clear steps from all parties.”

A group of renowned researchers and experts, working under the wing of the Let’s Do It! Foundation, has prepared a clear set of suggestions, titled the ‘Keep It Clean Plan’, which was released on 16 September. The plan embeds the principles of the ‘Zero Waste’ strategy and concludes with recommended actions for businesses, governments, citizens and NGOs to implement specific steps to deal with the global mismanaged waste crisis.

Let’s Do It! Foundation is looking to work in cooperation with the country and community leaders, as well as with partners, to develop further country-based roadmaps towards better waste management systems and policies, thus engaging public and private sectors as well as local communities. The further collaborative steps based on the Keep It Clean Plan will be decided together with the country leaders at the 8th annual Clean World Conference, held in Tallinn on 24-27 January, 2019.

World Cleanup Day is being propelled by Let’s Do It! Foundation, which has grown out from the civic movement Let’s do it! World. The movement has been initiating cleanup actions around the globe throughout the last decade, with now over 35 million volunteers taking part in total. It all began in the small Northern European tech-savvy country of Estonia in 2008, when 50,000 people came together to clean up the entire country in just five hours. Technology created by former Skype chief architect and co-founder of Starship Technologies, Ahti Heinla, enabled the organising team to map more than 10,000 trashpoints before the cleanup and arrange the work of 50,000 volunteers. Together they collected more than 10,000 tons of mismanaged waste from nature and public areas.

The UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was funded by the Government of Japan. The Prize was established by UNESCO’s Executive Board in the framework of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), to showcase and reward outstanding ESD projects and programmes. This is the fourth edition of the Prize.

The other two winners were Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET) from Namibia and the Kalabia Foundation (YaKIn) from Indonesia. Each of the three non-profit organizations will receive an award of 50,000 USD.

UNESCO’s Director-General and a representative of the Government of Japan will award the Prize to the three laureates in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 9 October 2018, during the 205th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.

More information:

www.worldcleanupday.org

Let’s Do It Foundation media contact: Tiina Urm, [email protected], +372 5300 0515

UNESCO media contact: Miriam Tereick, [email protected], +33 (0)1 45 68 16 68

Further information on the Prize: https://en.unesco.org/prize-esd