For Immediate Release: June 3, 2011
Canadian Student Takes Top Prize in International Environmental Journalism Competition
TORONTO, ON – Just in time for International Earth Day on June 5th, Environmental Defence is pleased to announce that its Canada’s Next Green Journalist winner, Liz Welliver took a top prize for her writing in the biodiversity category in the international Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition.  The winners of this year’s competition were announced today by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
YRE is an annual environmental journalism competition that invites youth aged 12-18 to submit photos and articles to be judged first at a national level, and then submitted to an international panel for judging. There were a total of 79 submissions from 11 countries submitted to the international jury, composed of representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The Canadian national competition, Canada’s Next Green Journalist, which took place from April 1 – May 1, 2011 yielded a record number of submissions in writing, photography and film from talented Canadian youth.  International winner Liz Welliver, whose article “Making a Stand for Avatar” captures the attempts to preserve a newfound swath of ancient old growth forests in BC, was among three youth to take home a prize in the Canadian leg of the competition.
“This win speaks not only to the outstanding quality of submissions that we received this year, but more largely to the importance that the environment holds with Canada’s youth,” said Sarah Winterton, Strategic Partnerships Director and YRE administrator. “We’re thrilled to see one of our own being recognized on the international journalism stage and we wish to extend congratulations to all of the 2011 winners.”
Other categories in Canada’s Next Green Journalist were in film and photography. Michael Cheung of Markham won for his photo of a battery decomposing, and Burlington’s Andrew Wong was awarded for his video “Saving the Chinook Salmon”. Canada’s Next Green Journalist winners will receive video, writing and film equipment and cash prizes for their schools.
A list of Canadian winners can be found at www.youngreporters.ca.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca):  Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization.  We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell)