Applications for The Iris Prize 2023 open March 1st!

We award three grants each year in conjunction with a locally-delivered capacity building programmes and peer-to-peer mentoring facilitated by our Advisory Panel. In September 2022, we awarded the inaugural ‘Iris Prize’ to three outstanding individuals who best embody the spirit of the Iris Project – championing the protection and restoration of nature, and the rights of those who defend it. Meet the winners!

Awards categories.

We recognise that nature restoration takes a variety of forms – from traditional land stewardship, to innovative technological solutions. As such, the ‘Iris Prize’ rewards new ideas and established projects, hoping to overcome the circumstantial barriers that too often prevent young people from being able to advocate for nature-related change.

All prize applicants are invited to join The Iris Project Ecosystem! A slack channel community which provides young people in our network with additional funding and capacity building opportunities happening all over the world. Apply to the prize to join the Ecosystem.

The prizes are structured as such, and awarded alongside a bespoke capacity-building programme for each of our winners:


Awarded for a new idea, not yet established.
Ages 14-24


Awarded for an existing project, established on a small scale.
Ages 16-24


Awarded for an established project, with the potential to replicate and scale.
Ages 16-24
Our global network of nominating partners help us identify candidates for the Iris Prize. They have been carefully selected to ensure we reach as many potential applicants as possible, and include environmental, youth, indigenous and education-focused organisations and NGOs. If you would like to join our nominating partner network please get in touch:

Each year, our  Youth Advisory Panel create a short-list of applicants for each prize, which is then assessed by the Iris Prize judges who select three winners. You can find out more information about them below.

  • Aliza Ayaz

    United Nations Goodwill Ambassador

  • Afroz Shah

    Environmental Activist and Lawyer

  • Melati Wijsen

    Changemaker and Movement Builder

  • Kate Rothschild

    Iris' Mother, Environmental Philanthropist & Music Industry Executive

  • Wanjira Mathai

    Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute

  • Elizabeth Wathuti

    Environmentalist and Climate Activist

  • Dr Enric Sala

    National Geographic Explorer in Residence

How to apply.

Applications for The Iris Prize 2023 open from March 1st until May 31st, 2023. Sign up for our newsletter to find out more!