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World Environment Day: Student Activist Implores You to ‘Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level'

An environmentally conscious 21-year-old Canadian student has been selected as winner of the 2014 World Environment Day (WED) Video-Blogging Competition.

Fatin Chowdhury's entry supporting WED's 2014 theme—“Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level"—means he is the blogger selected by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to travel to a Small Island Developing State to highlight the global celebrations of WED on June 5, via video.

Chowdhury says he did little more than ask people on the University of Waterloo's campus in Ontario to look into his camera and repeat the theme for WED. It sounds simple, but the constant pounding of the galvanizing theme throughout the video's two minutes conjures up images of rising waters and ultimately makes you want to do something about it.

"As you, the viewer, see these individuals taking a stand, I want you to be motivated to reflect and learn about the issues at hand," he wrote in his blog. "We can build on this two-minute video."

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Don Cheadle personally handpicked Chowdhury's video from a finalist group of four, according to the organization.

"These young video-bloggers are helping us pave the way to World Environment Day," Cheadle said. "They are spreading the word that climate change and sea level rise is a threat to all of us, but especially to the people of the small islands. It was not easy to choose between the top five entries, but Fatin's promotional efforts really caught my attention."

Fatin Chowdhury displays the World Environmental Day hashtag for the upcoming global event on June 5. Photo credit: UNEP

Chowdhury has served as a youth representative and participated in large conferences like Rio+20 and the 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19).

"I am looking forward to celebrating World Environment Day 2014 and highlighting the importance of enabling the voices of Small Islands Developing States to propel action," he said. "As we gear up for the 2015 climate treaty, it is important to contextualize our efforts to ensure we are addressing the needs of these vulnerable populations."

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