Youth Award Winner in 2001
The Jose Marti Pioneer Organization, established in 1961, is a volunteer organization through which more than one and a half million young Cubans undertake environmental protection activities. Some of its 278 activities include: avoiding fires in forests and meadowlands through environmental education in schools; ensuring that bonfires are extinguished correctly; participation in the creation of medicinal and fruit tree nurseries to create new forests; organization of World Environment Day (WED) activities; sending environmental protection messages through the mass media; preparation of audio-visual materials on the environment for all Cuban schools; production of the weekly "Be up-to-date" news programme; and the design of an educational programme on conservation for schools.
In 1992, the Pioneers initiated a movement whereby a number of activities are undertaken including the clean up of schools, parks, monuments, forests, rivers and seas, as well as recycling efforts. Every year on WED, half a million Pioneers participate in a national campaign to promote environmental protection. Pioneers have developed painting, song and writing contests on the environment in schools, and for one month every year, Pioneers in Secondary Schools participate in agricultural activities, such as the cultivation of crops and the cleaning of fields. Secondary School Pioneers also participate in various environmental clubs with different themes, such as Friends of Nature (9,421 members), The Animals and Me (7,396 members) and The Lungs of My City (5,683 members).The Pioneers have created didactic games, which offer solutions to environmental problems and help enhance the environmental vocabulary of eight year-olds. The organization also produces a number of publications on environmental conservation.