Seawalls made out of sandbags protects many homes in Kiribati against the rising tides (Photo: Sheryl Ho/UNDP).

– UNDP has launched today a global storytelling contest, Voices2Paris, to contribute to raising public awareness on the negative impacts of climate change as well as on the opportunities and solutions seen in actions by individuals and governments alike across vulnerable developing countries worldwide.

“We want to provide young journalists in developing countries a unique opportunity to contribute to the global debate on climate change in the run-up to COP21, while building their capacity and providing recognition for excellence” noted Neil Buhne, UNDP Geneva Director.

UNDP targets journalists 35 years of age and under from developing countries who are already engaged in public writing and want to contribute ­– locally and internationally – towards greater public awareness on climate change.

The best stories will be published every day in the immediate run-up to COP21, carrying messages of struggle, opportunity and hope from the climate change frontlines worldwide. The authors of the top two prize-winning stories will be invited to attend and cover the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris this December.

Stories can be submitted by young journalists from developing countries in English, and in Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish with an English translation, on a rolling basis until October 11th, 2015. Guidelines to participate are available on UNDP Geneva website.

A team of senior journalists reporting on climate change from top-tier international media outlets, regional media associations, and representatives from major international organizations, will review the entries and mentor the participants.

“The contest is an excellent initiative to promote investigative and innovative coverage from the young generation of journalists. It is also an opportunity for African journalists to reconfigure state-society relations and contribute to the development of the continent” added Sidi El Moctar Cheiguer, President of the African Network of Environmental Journalists.

Stories, once screened and scored will be published on UNDP’s website and disseminated through partners’ channels to ensure maximum outreach and support the call for an ambitious agenda to be endorsed during the COP21.

APO (The African Press Organization) and Oxfam Hong Kong are special partners of the contest.

Participating organizations: African Network of Environmental JournalistsCare InternationalChina DialogueGlobal Call for Climate ActionInternational Center for JournalistsGlobal Village of BeijingInnovative Green Development ProgramInterNewsPacific Islands News AssociationRNTCRTCC/Climate HomeSecretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and University of the South Pacific.

We also thank the global network of climate vulnerable countries active in the Climate Vulnerable Forum currently chaired by Philippines for its support.

Contact information

Sarah Bel, UNDP Communication Specialist, email:; 
tel: +41 22 917 8544


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