Chinese woman, 29, wins UN environment award

Ren Xiaoyuan, a 29-year-old female environmentalist and the founder of a data platform MyH2O, was awarded the 2020 Young Champions of the Earth prize by the UNEP.

Young people are leading the way in calling for meaningful and immediate solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and their contribution for the environment can inspire many others, say officials with the United Nations Environment Programme.

The UNEP recently unveiled the winners of the 2020 Young Champions of the Earth prize. Ren Xiaoyuan, a 29-year-old Chinese female environmentalist, was among the seven winners.

By founding a data platform called MyH2O — Water Information Network, Ren provided solutions for the lack of information on drinking water quality in China’s rural areas.

Her project has also educated villagers on water pollution.

It successfully delivered clean water stations to tens of thousands of villagers in China.

The MyH2O platform that Ren has pioneered addresses the root causes of deteriorating water quality whilst safeguarding water resources in underprivileged communities, said Joakim Harlin, head of UNEP’s freshwater unit.

“UNEP encourages such bottom-up approaches and through this award, we hope that MyH2O can inspire many others,” he added.

Dechen Tsering, UNEP Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, ensured that this year, each winner will receive US$10,000 of seed funding and opportunities to attend related high-level UN meetings, so that they could bring their big environmental ideas to life.

“At the same time, each winner is expected to implement their big idea and keep UNEP updated on their progress,” she added.

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen called on everyone to contribute to cutting emissions and protecting ecosystems as “we enter the decisive decade.”

“Every single act for nature counts, and we need the entire spectrum of humanity to share this global responsibility.”

The Young Champions of the Earth prize is established by UNEP to recognize environmental trailblazers who are between 18 and 30.

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