What is the Zayed Sustainability Prize?
World innovators challenged to take on the most threatening environmental problems
IT HAS BEEN 11 years since the UAE launched an international prize to inspire renewable energy projects in the name of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed.
Built on the foundations of sustainable growth, innovation and development, the award has evolved from the Zayed Future Energy Prize into the Zayed Sustainability Prize.
So far, supported projects around the world in developing countries have touched the lives of more than 318 million people and unearthed 76 winners.
A passion for enhancing the future through ideas and hard work has united this special group of environmentalists.
The latest incarnation of the Zayed prize will support five categories – health, food, water, energy and global high schools. Each category winner will be awarded $600,000 (Dh2.2 million).
With a total prize fund of $3m, the award sets out to make a tangible difference to communities and inspire a new generation of environmentalists.
Winners of the 2019 prize will be announced today, at the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Six schools from around the world are each hoping to scoop a $100,000 prize.
Individual projects are being evaluated on three criteria: their effect on people’s lives; innovation to bring transformative change and inspiration; and the potential to develop ideas into bigger projects.
Schools have been asked to come up with solutions in the areas of health, food, energy or water, and the competition is aimed at pupils aged between 11 and 19.
The health award will commend projects empowering communities by giving access to affordable medical care.
Entrants should be active in improving maternal and newborn health, or tackling epidemics and illnesses resulting from pollution or hazardous chemicals.
The best projects will have a long-term vision for change, and focus on small or medium-sized enterprises with annual revenue of less than $50m.
The food category is aimed at ending hunger and malnutrition, increasing agricultural productivity, building new sustainable food production systems and promoting seed type and animal population diversity.
Energy has been central to the Zayed prize since its inception, and this year is no different.
This category award will support projects that improve energy efficiency and security, expand infrastructure and upgrade accessible energy supply technology.
A three-year drought in Cape Town, South Africa brought the issue of water shortages sharply into focus. Early last year, the crisis led to water rationing of just 50 litres a person a day – half the average use of most Americans.
Water is another key category of the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize, to award the best solutions to what will become an increasing problem in the near future for many global communities.
Projects illustrating the best solutions to improve water quality, sanitation and efficiency, while preserving waterrelated ecosystems will be given the highest award.
The projects have been evaluated in a three-stage process by an international research and analysis company, select committee and a jury.
Two thousand solar lights in Abu Dhabi outline the Zayed Sustainability Prize logo