What was the project?
In the summer of 2021, Planetary collaborated with the UK Schools Sustainability Network (UKSSN) and challenged secondary school students to raise their voices for the planet through art, poetry and photography as part of our international competition, ‘Words and Pictures for Your World’. We received hundreds of entries and thousands of votes to decide our UK and international overall category winners, with all shortlisted entries transformed into a powerful student anthology! The anthology is available here, offered by ‘print on demand’ in paperbook as well as in e-book format (we’re all about the waste!) with profits reserved to purchase an acre of rainforest through the World Land Trust as a lasting legacy to the project and the students who stood up for their planet.
How was it included at COP26?
Planetary is forever grateful that two supporters of the project, Global Action Plan and PPL PWR, chose to present the project at COP26, where the passionate student voices contained in our anthology were heard in a number of ways by not only the visiting public to the Green Zone, but also by world leaders and delegates in the Blue Zone.
Video compilations featuring every submission to the competition were premiered on screens across the conference, displaying urgent and important messaging from the generation who will ultimately be left to pick up the pieces of our current climate crisis. One of the videos was also included in the official United Nations online exhibition with Google Arts & Culture, which you can view as part of the Pupil Power Roadshow here!
The attending team from UKSSN wore t-shirts featuring competition entries to form a unique ‘roving gallery’, and even had the fantastic opportunity to present Alok Sharma, Minister of State and President of COP26, with his very own to keep!
Students also met delegates visiting the summit from Nigeria, Kelo and Shreya, who were presented with prize packages on behalf of our international competition winners, who all attend Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja and Kubwa! Their prizes included a t-shirt featuring their own winning entries. We are grateful to Kelo and Shreya for facilitating delivery, and to Mr Leamon from Cranleigh School’s eco committee for designing them! You can view the full winning entries here.
Entries to the competition will also be making their way to MPs in the form postcards! The special cards were offered to COP26 visitors, who were given the chance to express their own written concerns for the planet on the back, demonstrating the power of unity and engagement in making change.
Planetary is immensely proud of all students, staff, schools and supporters of this project. Collaboration is the heartbeat of our organisation, and we welcome any opportunities to provide connectivity and a platform for environmental protection in the future. As mentioned above, our next objective is to secure an acre of rainforest through sales of the student anthology, then who knows what may come next?! Do you have an idea you’d like to share? Get in touch today!