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Tue, 21 Jan 2020 13:45 GMT

The Zayed Sustainability Prize: Rewarding Sustainable Solutions

Science & Technology

Jenna Kleinwort

Mon, 13 Jan 2020 17:41 GMT

Inspired by the humanitarian spirit of the UAE’s founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Sustainability Prize recognises the most impactful and innovative sustainability projects. Awards are given in the following categories crucial to social development: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools. The Prize is now running in its 12th edition and its awarded projects have throughout the years made a positive impact in the lives of more than 335 million people from 140 countries.

The winners of the 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize were awarded on January 13th, 2020, the first day of the World Future Energy Summit 2020 held in Abu Dhabi.

This year’s winners have been chosen by a jury of experts for the excellence of their sustainable approaches to social and community development of their projects.

These are this year’s winners across the five categories:

Health: Globhe (Sweden)

GLOBHE has developed a global drone data platform that helps to prevent or quickly respond to health disasters. They operate more than 3600 drone pilots in 48 countries, which can collect data if needed. With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the data can be used to reveal for example the locations of malaria breeding or the number of houses that are located in an area affected by Ebola. So far, the Globhe project has supported NGO’s in responding to cholera and malaria epidemics in Malawi and Lake Victoria.

Food: Okuafo Foundation (Ghana)

The Okuafo Foundation has introduced a smartphone application, which uses the technologies of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to predict and detect crop diseases and can also provide farmers with solutions or treatment possibilities. Designed to serve farmers in rural areas, the application works even without internet connectivity. Okuafo has helped farmers to both reduce their expenses and to increase their output and thus overall productivity.

Energy: Electricians Without Borders (France)

Electricians Without Borders (EWB) is an international aid non-profit organisation that has run for more than 30 years and has made a positive impact in the lives of more than 50 000 people, especially refugees. EWB provides high-quality solar equipment to refugee camps and also assists with training on their operation to ensure the long-term use and access to electricity.

Water: Ceres Imagining (USA)

Ceres Imagining makes use of artificial intelligence-based technology to optimise irrigation techniques and to use water more efficiently in agriculture. Ceres Imagining makes a positive contribution to increase the productivity of agriculture, while reducing the water resources needed and therefore to provide to a growing population. Currently Ceres improves the irrigation procedures on more than one million acres of land in the US and Australia.

Global High Schools

The Global High School Award is given to a school from each continent.

This year’s winner for The Americas is the Air Battala High School for their proposed project to develop a greenhouse, which makes use of seawater in order to create a micro-environment, in which crops such as beans can grow.

In the Middle East and Northern Africa category, the Al Amal Junior High School in Morocco was recognised for their efforts to educate students in agriculture and how to deal with water scarcity.

The private Bloom Nepal School won the award for South Asia for their proposal of a food-energy-waste nexus framework which uses biogas units to convert organic waste into biogas. The produced biogas can then be used in the school’s kitchen or in a gas engine to generate energy. The organic produce can be used in agriculture.

In Europe and Central Asia, the United World College in Mostar, Herzegovina convinced the jury with their plan to build the first building in their city, which is environmentally sustainable.

The Hakimi Aliyu Secondary School Mokwa in Nigeria won in the Sub-Saharan African region with their vocational training department, which provides students with relevant skills and enhances social empowerment. They suggested two projects in the areas of food and energy sustainability.

The Eutan Tarawa Ieta (ETI) Junior Secondary School, in Kiribati (East Asia & Pacific region) aims to transform parts of the school ground into areas that can be used for the production of food to raise the students awareness for a healthy diet and further to eliminate and prevent diabetes, which is very common in Kiribati.

Middle East