Youth using Music for successful UN Climate Change Conference – COP21

“Three awards, three continents”

GYMC15 Online Voting Award Winner:
“Sahabat Alam” (Friends of Nature) – Adeline Suwana, Sahabat Alam, Indonesia, Link to the video:

GYMC15 Jury Award Winner:
“Speak for the Trees” – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Earth Guardians, United States, Link to the video:

GYMC15 Jury Special Recognition for a GYMC15 Children’s Song

“Climate Astronauts” Gottfried Kinkel Primary School Bonn, Germany, Link to the Video:


Giving young people a voice in global climate change negotiations has been the declared aim of the organizers of Global Challenges Youth Music Contest when they announced the “Youth and Climate Change #GYMC15” at the Bonn Climate Conference in June 2015

Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), John Crowley from the secretariat of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations Programme and their civil society partner Miroslav Polzer (IAAI) said: “We are looking forward to meeting and awarding the winners on 7 December in Paris. The creativity and musical communications skills of so many young people are a testament to just how seriously youth from all corners of the Earth today take climate change. There were so many impressive songs, made with such love and care from so many youth, we as judges struggled to make our final decision”.

“But we now have our winners including a special recognition prize for a children’s song from the home city of the UNFCCC. Each entry has their own story to tell, from the risks the world is running from failing to address climate change, to the power of young people to catalyze change. We hope governments meeting in Paris in December to forge an historic, universal climate agreement download these songs and play them at moments when inspiration is needed. Perhaps we can save the world with a melody or at least contribute towards the kind of forward-looking decisions that can help humanity get there, “ they added.


45 young musicians from 26 countries from all around the world (including Fiji, Chile, Colombia, United States, Canada, Grenada, Nigeria, Benin, Kenya, France, UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Albania, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc.) followed the GYMC15 Call for Music and submitted their self produced music video clips on “Youth and Climate Change” to inspire the negotiations at UN Climate Change Conference COP21 with their music.

Through online voting (51.000 page views, 14.100 votes casted) and based on a jury composed of representatives of GYMC15 partners IAAI, UNESCO MOSTand UNFCCC ACE the winners have been identified and are announced this Friday 6th of November 2015. Below is the list of the #GYMC15 award winners:

GYMC15 Online Voting Winner:

sahabat alamwishpond “Sahabat Alam” (Friends of Nature) – Adeline Suwana, Indonesia (3596 votes)

About the song:

‘Sahabat Alam – Friends of the Nature’ song calls for children and youth to love nature and environment in order to hinder climate change without differences in distances or languages, and to invite the entire nations’s young generation to love and care their environment by taking early roles in saving the nature and have a healthy planetarium to live in. Along with this spirit, Sahabat Alam pushes world political leaders to act decisively in mitigating the climate crisis and ensuring a better future for all of us.”


GYMC Jury Award Winner:

 speakforthetreeswishpond “Speak for the Trees” – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, United States

About the song:

Speak For the Trees was written on behalf of protecting the worlds resources for future generations. Our song tells the story, of how young people are standing up all over the world as leaders to protect what they love and to be a voice for those that are voiceless. Ours and future generations will be most affected by the decisions made at COP21, so we are using our voices though music to remind world leaders what is at stake and that what they decide at COP21 will determine the kind of world they will leave us with.


The award for both winners is a round trip to Paris and the opportunity to participate in an official COP21 side event on “Youth Empowerment for Climate Action” scheduled on 3rd of December and in a GYMC15 climate change edutainment show in UNESCO COP21 pavilion on 7th of December (more info:

In addition to the above two award winners for songs created by young people, the GYMC jury decided to introduce an additional Special Recognition for a GYMC15 Children’s Song’ and to award Gottfried Kinkel Primary School Bonn, Germany for their song: “Climate Astronauts”which stands out with the innovative collaborative process in which the song has been produced (the Climate Ambassadors program

GYMC Jury Special Recognition for a GYMC15 Children’s Song

 climateastronautswishpond “Climate Astronauts” Gottfried Kinkel Primary School Bonn, Germany

About the song:

This song was developed and performed for the theatre congress SAVE THE WORLD II in theatre Bonn in September 2015. Climate fairy Bernadette La Hengst developed the song lyrics with the help of the kids from Gottfried Kinkel school Bonn who are climate experts, since they got their climate driving license certification last year in a project called Klimabotschafter (climate ambassadors).

(visit to see all 33 shortlisted entries)

The award ceremony will take place in Paris on 7 December 2015.