The next 'Earth Champion' could be you. An international environmental group is looking to celebrate extraordinary Hongkongers who are sustaining and improving the city's and the world's environment. The Earth Champions Foundation will begin accepting nominations on Friday for its first 'Hong Kong Earth Champions Quest' - a search for experts and everyday heroes who are striving to better their community, their city or the planet. 'Anyone can be an Earth Champion - rich or poor, old or young,' said Fiona Mathews, the foundation's chief executive officer. 'We've had champions as old as 93, and the youngest was eight.' Ms Mathews, a former member of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, created the group in 2000 to show her son that the world was filled with inspiring role models. The competition, which has already been held in Australia and Switzerland, honours people for their efforts to safeguard biodiversity and bring about cleaner water, air and energy, as well as greener transport and buildings. Nelson Mandela presented the first Earth Champions award in 2000. Eminent thinkers Sir Crispin Tickell, chair of the Earth Champions judging panel, and Edward de Bono are supporters of the group, and the South China Morning Post is a media sponsor of the competition. Nomination forms can be found at www.earthchampions.org from Friday. Nominees must live in Hong Kong and have improved the city through environmentally friendly ideas and actions. Nominees who qualify will become Earth Champions, joining scores of other champions around the world. The Hong Kong awardees will receive certificates in an awards ceremony later this year, and the group will also issue an environmental assessment of Hong Kong, during the awards ceremony. A select group of Earth Champions will additionally receive special recognition and trophies for their 'extraordinary' efforts.