Montreal, 15 February 2022 — Today, North America’s top environmental officials, representing Canada, Mexico, and the United States on the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Council, are launching the “2022 Youth Innovation Challenge,” that invites youth to propose innovation towards COVID-19 recovery.
Participants can submit their innovative solutions to the 2022 Youth Innovation Challenge through Submittable to win up to C$15,000 in seed funding. The winners from Canada, Mexico, and the United States will present their successful solutions to North America’s environment ministers at the CEC’s Council Session.
The challenge is open to participants aged 18-30 who are residents of Canada, Mexico, or the United States. Solutions can be submitted in English, French or Spanish and will be evaluated based on four criteria: impact, innovation, feasibility and replicability, and economic value. Read our criteria and guidelines and submit your solution via Submittable.
A successful solution proposes an innovation with clear environmental benefits that also considers direct impacts for local communities in North America. Possible innovations could consider public well-being; efforts to build back the local and circular economy; conservation, preservation, and recovery of biocultural heritage; and the defense of their territories, livelihoods, and ecosystems. Winning solutions will have a gender, intercultural, and human rights focus.
The submissions chosen will be supported by a thorough description, photos, videos, schematics and prototype designs, as appropriate. Proposals should demonstrate a significant impact on communities while representing a technological or social innovation with a strong plan for economic sustainability and must consider local knowledge and transform that knowledge into an innovative action or solution.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations
The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.