• A 29-year-old Indian entrepreneur is among the seven winners of the prestigious “Young Champions of the Earth” 2020 prize given by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to global change-makers using innovative ideas and ambitious action to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.



  • Introduced in 2017, Young Champions of the Earth aims to celebrate and support individuals aged between 18 and 30 who have outstanding potential to create a positive environmental impact.
  • In 2020, seven Young Champions of the Earth will be selected from each global region: Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, West Asia and two from Asia and the Pacific.
  • Each winner will receive:

o USD 10,000 in seed funding,

o Attendance at a high-level UN meeting,

o An introduction to dignitaries at the Champions of the Earth award ceremony,

o Publicity and recognition through interviews and online and global media.



  • Vidyut Mohan, India: (Takachar). Harvesting value from agricultural waste.
  • Takachar: Harvesting Value from Agricultural Waste
  • Takachar is a social enterprise founded by Vidyut Mohan in 2018.
  • It enables farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues and earn extra income by converting them into value-added chemicals.
  • It is a meaningful and immediate solution to the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
  • Procedure:

o Takachar buys rice husks, straw and coconut shells from farmers and turns them into charcoal, saving the debris from the fires, which are also a driver of climate change.



  • Open burning of agricultural residues is a big source of air pollution in many parts of the world and this innovative technology can help farmers turn what is currently thought of as waste into a valuable resource while helping clean up our environment.
  • Enables rural farmers to earn 40% more by converting their crop residues into fuels, fertilisers and value-added chemicals like activated carbon (AC) on-site.


  • By 2030, Takachar will impact 300 million farmers affected by this problem, create USD 4 billion/year equivalent in additional rural income and jobs, and mitigate one gigaton/year of CO2 equivalent.


United Nation Environment Program

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was established in 1972 to guide and coordinate environmental activities within the United Nations (UN) system.
  • UNEP promotes international cooperation on environmental issues, provides guidance to UN organizations.
  • Through its scientific advisory groups, UNEP encourages the international scientific community to participate in formulating policy for many of the UN’s environmental projects.
  • UNEP is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The organization also encourages participation by the private sector to promote the sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.
  • Major Reports: Emission Gap Report, Global Environment Outlook, Frontiers, Invest into Healthy Planet.
  • Major Campaigns: Beat Pollution, UN75, World Environment Day, Wild for Life.


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