The Earth Charter Youth Contest awards ceremony, held on October 19th, 2012 at the Quirinal Palace, was part of the traditional “Autumn Fest.” President Napolitano presented Elio Pacilio, President of Green Cross Italy, with a commemorative plaque to acknowledge the organization's efforts to promote environmental education during the past 20 years.

Approximately 600,000 students from at least 10,000 schools have participated in the competition during the past two decades, with nearly 500 schools recognized for their work and provided with support to conduct 320 micro-environmental projects.

The contest enjoys strong support from Italian civil society, including from Professor Rita Levi Montalcini, honorary president of Green Cross Italy.

Rai television presenter Massimiliano Ossini hosted the event, which was also attended by Italian Minister of Education Francesco Profumo and Italian Minister of Agriculture Mario Catania, and representatives of the Ministry of Environment.