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UAE schools nominated for Zayed Sustainability Prize

Former heads of state, ministers, and business leaders meet in Abu Dhabi to judge ahead of January ceremony

The finalists of the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2020 have been announced with the UAE earning two nominations for The Philippine Global School and Umm Al-Arab School.

The announcement of the 2020 finalists took place on the sidelines of the Prize’s Jury Meeting, the third and final stage of its annual evaluation process.

The 12-member Prize Jury comprises former heads of state from Mexico and Iceland, a former prime minister of the Republic of Korea, UAE government ministers and representatives, and internationally-renowned business leaders.

The 30 candidates will now compete to win up to 10 awards, across five categories, including: Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize recognises sustainable and humanitarian development from across the globe. Now in its twelfth year, the Prize received a record 2,373 entries from 129 countries, said the organisers. In the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, each winner receives $600,000. The Global High Schools category has six winners, representing six world regions, with each winner receiving up to $100,000.

The Philippine Global School will be hoping to win the fund to help construct and implement an aquaponics system within the school’s existing biodome project, complemented with renewable energy and water conservation practices.

“Estimated to impact up to 6,000 students over the course of next five years, the sustainability outcomes hope to be achieved by increasing renewable energy use (solar), conserving water resources via an aquaponics system instead of conventional farming methods, and increasing the availability of sustainable food sources for the school and local community – harvesting organic fruits, vegetables, and fish,” noted the Zayed Sustainability Prize.

Umm Al-Arab School, meanwhile,  Umm Al-Arab School has proposed a project, ‘Green Numbers’, “which is an environmental scientific project based on conducting green audits for the environmental resources required at the school’s premises and to achieve the ideal consumption rates by integrating waste and water solutions. The project will indicate the irrigation needs for the organic garden, when needed, by monitoring the soil moisture content and presenting figures in a dashboard (smart electricity power meter analyser).”

“Year on year, the UAE has taken a leading global role in sustainability – by engaging with, recognising and supporting impact-driven solutions that tackle ongoing humanitarian challenges,” said H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director-General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize. “This approach is closely aligned with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s 2021 Vision – both of which are reflected in the objectives of the Zayed Sustainability Prize and its five core categories.

“We are deeply inspired by the bold solutions and resolute mindset of previous winners – who have collectively gone on to effect real change to the lives of over 318 million people since winning the Prize. Similarly, we will remain true to the values inspired by Sheikh Zayed and his legacy, by continuing to champion like-minded pioneers – with an aim to further facilitate long-term, sustainable development.”

The winners will be announced at the 12th annual awards ceremony on 13th January 2020.

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