International Competition

An international YRE competition is held each year in which winning national entries compete. Timing, categories, submission requirements and judging criteria can be found below. The same rules apply to YRE campaigns.

Participation requirements and registration

YRE is open to those aged  11-21 whether participating alone or through their school, college, university or youth group. To find out more, contact FEE's national member organisation running the programme and/or competition. National operator details can be found under Contacts

Supervisors are encouraged to use YRE as a cross-curriculum tool to make learning more fun and to help students investigate relevant issues and create submissions developed in different subjects, for example physics, chemistry, English and computer science.

Registration requirements differ nationally and participants must also register at ‘YRE Connect’ on the homepage which facilitates global collaboration.

Age Categories

There are three age categories in the international competition 11-14, 15-18 and 19-21. It is the participant's age on the day they submit their entry to the national competition that must be given and defines which age category they enter. Those submitting a group project must submit in the age category of the oldest member of their team.

Environmental themes students might cover include climate change, biodiversity, water, litter, etc.

The winning article, photograph or photographic essay and video from each age category can be submitted to the international competition by National Operators. Submissions must meet all of the international acceptance criteria, detailed below. Joint winners will not be accepted.

The international jury selects and awards a winning article, photograph and video in each age category, as well as a runner up,or runners up.The Jury is at liberty not to award in the case of too few submissions and to give more than one award in the case of exceptional entries in one or more age categories.

Acceptance criteria

Not meeting the international competition's acceptance criteria results in disqualification. 

Submissions must include:

  1. The name of the author(s);
  2. Their age on the day of submission to the national competition
  3. The name of their registered school or group;
  4. Their country of residence and registration, which may differ
  5. They must also, at minimum:
  • be the correct length, size and format, etc; see Articles, Photographs and Video below
  • be submitted in written or spoken English, or have English subtitles in the case of video
  • be focused on a pertinent (real and current) local issue
  • present a potential solution
  • have been disseminated to a local audience

Articles and blogs
Written submissions must not exceed 1,000 words in length and may include illustrations and photographs. The source of all non-original illustrations must be given. An interesting title of not more than 140 characters is recommended, for compatibility with Twitter. Articles must be sent digitally in Microsoft Word or .pdf format with accompanying pictures following the photographic guidelines below. Original photographs should also be sent separately (see in what format under photographs below).

It is possible to submit either a single photograph, or a photographic series/essay of up to 12 photographs. Photographic entries must tell a story and be accompanied by a title (preferably of no more than 140 characters) and a short caption of no more than 150 words to explain the link with environmental sustainability and/or a solution to the problem and/or issue. Photographs must be submitted digitally as .jpg, .png, .tif, or .gif format with a resolution of not less than 150-300 dp.

Videos must be no more than 3 minutes long and in documentary or reporter/interview style. A video must be accompanied by a title (preferably of no more than 140 characters). The format must be compatible with YouTube, i.e.:

  • WebM files - Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codecs
  • .MPEG43GPP and MOV files - Typically supporting h264, mpeg4 video codecs, and AAC audio codec
  • .AVI - Many cameras output this format - typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM
  • .MPEGPS - Typically supporting MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio
  • .WMV
  • .FLV - Adobe-FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio

All submission must be accompanied by a note describing dissemination to a local audience (where it was published, exhibited, shown, broadcast). National Operators will forward the winning article, photograph or photographic essay of up to 12 photographs, or video for each age category to the international competition. Students may submit more than one type of submission and can work individually or in groups.

Registering gives FEE the right to promote and use submissions crediting the author. Necessary permissions, e.g. for photographing children are the responsibility of the author and must, therefore, be sought.

Judging Criteria

Additional non compulsory criteria to guide participants and judges

Judges may assign a score of 0-3 based on how well the submission meets five further criteria. Points are: 3; excellent; 2; well; 1 fairly well and 0; it does not. Participants are encouraged to meet as many of these additional criteria as possible, to improve their work and chances of winning. It is not, however, compulsory to meet this criteria:

1. Composition i.e. form, structure and quality

  • Is the submission well structured and in the case of articles and videos cover who, what, where, why, when, and how?
  • Does the article or video have a beginning, middle and end?
  • In the case of photographs and video, is the picture/video technically and artistically well done i.e. is it well composed, of high quality and impactful?

2. Fair, balanced and objective reporting

  • Is the piece (article or video) balanced and fair in terms of representing different sides of an argument prior to offering a potential solution?
  • Does it quote and use real, credible, sources?
  • Is scientific or statistical reporting accurate and supported by sources/footnotes?
  • Is the photograph or video a fair representation, i.e. the subject or audience has not been manipulated?

3. Informative and well researched

  • Does the submission cover relevant historical, economic, social and/or political implications and possible consequences?
  • Does it make a link to the bigger global picture?
  • Does it present possible solutions?
  • Is the suggested solution realistic, well explained and justified?
  • Is the use of illustration, pictures, supporting paragraphs, subtitles, etc, well thought through?

4. Originality, style and independence  

  • Is the piece original in its scope or style i.e. has the participant picked a challenging topic or created an innovative or moving piece?
  • Did the participant leave the school grounds i.e. engage in field work and interview people in person as well as on the telephone, not just use or quote online sources?
  • Did they take a positive approach i.e. concentrate on solutions not just problems?

5. Dissemination

  • Was a good choice of media chosen for communicating the message and was the target audience considered?
  • Is there evidence of further dissemination through relevant social or other media, or an event?


Participants can join YRE at any time of the year but submissions to the international competition must be received by the end of April. National competitions are usually held by the end of March. Countries that cannot run their jury prior to that may submit students' work to the following year’s international competition. Submissions can only be entered once ever and in one age category. Late submissions to the international competition will not be accepted.

The international jury will meet in May. Results are announced on, or no later than, World Environment Day, June 5.


Use of music for video entries

It is illegal to copy or otherwise infringe copyright protected music without the permission of the copyright rights-holder. Obtaining a licence to permit the use of copyright protected material can be problematic and, as such, it is strongly recommended you DO NOT use copyright protected music in your video.

The Youtube Audio Library offers royalty-free tracks which are made available for any creative purpose and do not require permission from the rights-holder to use. Music may also be published under an open content licensing scheme, such as the Creative Commons licence. There are still terms, conditions and restrictions applicable for music taken from the above sources, so please ensure these are fully observed and there is no copyright infringement in your video entry.

Any national winning video submitted to the International competition which infringes copyright law may still be evaluated by FEE, but will be ineligible to win. A video entry may only be presented at YRE and published on the FEE website or other social network service if and to the extent that FEE is satisfied that the video does not infringe copyright law.