Malta win multiple awards at this year's YRE International Competition

Since 2007 Malta been part of the YRE programme and at this year’s International YRE Competition won many awards in different categories. So what is their recipe for success?

Litter is a big issue in Malta and getting schools involved in such a topical theme is quite easy

What does the YRE Competition mean to you as an organisation?

We focus more on YRE as a programme rather than a competition. We believe the work of everyone should be recognised and we encourage a team spirit atmosphere. We therefore label all competition entries as Participation, Commended, Finalists, Honourable Mentions and Winners - thus giving credit to all those who participate and produce good work. We invite everyone for the final ceremony and celebrate all together. 

How do you celebrate your winners?

We announce them during the Annual YRE Awards - usually the 5th or 6th June, and invite the Hon. Minister to present them. Media is always present, and we are on TV and newspapers most of the time.  We award them with trophies and cash vouchers when finances allow. Other incentives for winners include invitations to turtle releases (by NTM) and invitations to opportunities to go abroad when possible. 

With four winners in the Litter Less campaign categories how do you go about maintaining interest in covering litter issues?

Litter is a big issue in Malta - and getting schools involved in such a topical theme is quite easy. However they do get more motivated by the financial help we give them - and of course the funds make it possible to provide other incentives such as more visits, Missions and the aid from abroad. 

For the next two years, I would like to launch a common target for all participating schools (e.g. cigarette butts) and make more impact with the joint energy of all schools. Plans are still in the pipeline though.

YRE Is one of five programmes administrated by the Foundation for Environmental Education.