Television

2007 version of BBC World Challenge announced

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NEW DELHI: BBC World today announced the forthcoming opening of nominations for one of the world's most exciting business and community project awards.

World Challenge 2007 seeks to identify and reward people that bring economic, social and environmental benefits to their local communities, a release from the broadcaster says.

The 24-hour international news and information television channel, BBC World, Newsweek and Shell have teamed up again for World Challenge 2007 and are searching for individuals or groups that have implemented grassroots solutions to the toughest problems of our age, from poverty to pollution.

Nominations for the competition open on February 5 and companies, communities and enterprising individuals around the globe with projects are encouraged to enter by registering on the World Challenge 2007 website at www.theworldchallenge.co.uk.

Once nominations close at the end of April, a panel of expert judges will shortlist the 12 entries that they consider are the best in terms of showing innovation and bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to their local community.

After voting has closed, the winner of World Challenge 2007 will be announced at an awards ceremony in The Hague in December 2007.

The winner will again receive a US$20,000 grant from Shell to invest in their project, plus the two runners-up will each receive US$10,000. The Awards Ceremony will be shown on BBC World in December.

BBC World will produce six 30-minute programmes profiling the 12 finalists showing how their projects and businesses are changing lives. These programmes will be broadcast to BBC World's global audience in October and November 2007, and the channel's viewers will be invited to vote online for their favourite project or business.

World Challenge, which began in 2005, has already inspired passion and commitment throughout the world and propelled enterprising projects and businesses into the spotlight. Since its inception, financial grants have been given to six projects from across the world and the competition has experienced phenomenal growth.

In 2006, the World Challenge received 816 nominations compared with 500 nominations the year before.

Maximus, a firm in Sri Lanka which supports a local elephant orphanage and provides sustainable employment by making paper out of elephant dung, won World Challenge 2006.

Coconets from the Philippines, had won the 2005 competition for its landslide prevention system using waste coconut husks.

Richard Sambrook, CEO BBC World, says: "The enthusiastic response to the World Challenge and the increase in the number of nominations each year is testament to this successful and inspirational project. We are delighted to again be working with Shell and Newsweek on World Challenge 2007."

Roxanne Decyk, Director, Corporate Affairs, Shell says: "Shell is proud to continue its association with this exciting and inspirational event. It is rewarding to witness the benefits that the World Challenge has brought to previous finalists, whether through profile-raising or through our financial assistance."

Newsweek will mirror the programmes' content in a six-part series of advertorials on the 12 nominees, aimed at driving its readers to the online voting site. The campaign will reach 1.5 million weekly readers across Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Gregory J. Osberg, Executive Vice President and Worldwide Publisher of Newsweek, adds: "Now in its third successful year, World Challenge rewards innovators who are implementing community-based solutions to some of the toughest problems of our age, from poverty to pollution. Along with partners Shell and BBC World, we are honoured to use Newsweek's global reach to seek out inspiring projects that are helping people and the planet."

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