German engineering firm Siemens began accepting entries on August 17 in its Green Technology Journalism Awards.

The awards are open to journalists in print and online media from Indonesia , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam , and mark the first such awards in Asia .

"Concerns such climate change, sustainable living and conservation are at the forefront of our modern society," said Siemens Vietnam CEO Erdal Elver.

"There is a vital need to create sustainable economics which engender prosperity and protect resources with leading-edge and environmentally-viable technologies."

Supporting quality journalism in the field would help build awareness of green issues, he added.

Entries would be evaluated by their news value and relevance to the three award catergories – energy efficiency, industrial productivity and sustainability – as well as the journalists' writing skills.

Winners in each category will receive cash prizes and an opportunity to attend a seminar on sustainability and new technologies held by the Technical University of Berlin, as well as to visit Siemens R&D and production centres in Germany .

All entries needed to have been published between January 1 and December 31, 2010, in mainstream media such as newspapers, magazines or websites.

Entries will be judged in English, so journalists publishing in different languages would be required to include an English translation of the piece.

A local judging panel will submit the best articles from each country to a regional jury, which will make the final awards decision. This panel will include academics and opinion leaders, media and business professionals, and public officials from the participating countries.

Entries must be received by December 31, 2010, with registration and other information available online at 2010./.