(Dubai): Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) conducted the 23rd cycle of the Annual Inter-School Environmental Public Speaking Competition from 25th to 28th of April 2023 at the knowledge park in Dubai. The bilingual (Arabic/English) competition witnessed participation from more than 500 students from 90 teams. This educational programme that was initiated in 2001, aims to bring together the youth from both private and public schools in the UAE and encourages them to share their views, concerns, and suggested solutions on pressing environmental issues that plague the planet. Over the course of two decades, this campaign grew from a 1-day programme to 2-day programme and now to a full-fledged 4-day programme. The number of days were expanded as its popularity, competitiveness, and recognition grew in the academic world of the UAE, thereby the need to accommodate and give opportunity to more students and schools that can benefit from this skill raising avenue.
This competition is held annually in April to coincide with the Global Earth Day (22nd of April) and brings together students from all the 7 emirates who are provided with the platform to address the scenario on 4 different environmental topics, that require vital discussions on a local, regional and international level and bring about practical solutions for these issues.
The 23rd Cycle of the competition was co-sponsored by United Parcel Services (UPS). Sharjah National Oil Corporation also came on board as the support sponsor. Supporting entities of the competition included Dubai International Academic City, Studenthub, and Abela & Co.
The programme has witnessed tremendous growth participation wise since its inception as more students and schools are able to be accommodated due to the expansion of the competition to 4 days.
EEG as an accredited NGO of the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification and as members of the United Nations Global Compact, conducted this important event to directly address and on work on the deliverables of several UN SDG Goals. i.e.
UN SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being, #4: Quality Education, #6: Clean Water and Sanitation, #7: Affordable and Clean Energy, #9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, #12: Responsible Consumption and Production, #13: Climate Action, #14: Life Below Water, #15: Life on Land and #17: Partnership for the Goals.
Mrs. Al Mar’ashi in her speech shared that the competition is conducted as a carbon neutral event courtesy of its active corporate member Farnek.
In her opening speech, EEG Co-Founder and Chairperson, Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi stated that “Environmental awareness and sustainability have become a pressing issue in today’s world. With climate change, pollution, and depletion of natural resources, it has become imperative to take action towards a sustainable future. EEG firmly believes that youth are our most valuable resource and in order to achieve an environmentally conscious and sustainability centric nation, we readily catalyse our actions at the grass root level. In order to ensure that the sustainable approach is ingrained into the minds of the youth, we began this pivotal journey 23 years ago”.
The competition is divided into two categories. The Sub Senior Category competition is directed towards students belonging to the age group 13 – 15 years, they competed on two topics:
1. The Omnipresent Micro-plastics: The Unseen Pandemic.
2. Dwindling Lakes, Diminishing Rivers: Addressing Fresh Water Depletion.
The Senior Category competition was for students between 16 – 18 years of age, who competed under the topics:
3. Reviving Indigenous Secrets: Unlocking Locally Driven Sustainable Change.
4. Reaching Earth’s Threshold: Our Response to the Tipping Point
To score the students fairly without bias, EEG brought together 8 bilingual jury members, who are experts in the fields of the chosen topics and work in the sustainability field. On the third day of the competition students from the Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, performed a special song for the opening ceremony, followed by an honourary opportunity for their students to share their view on the topic, providing them with an equal opportunity to improve their skills.
The winners of the 23rd cycle of Inter School Environmental Public Speaking competition are:
|The Omnipresent Micro-plastics: The Unseen Pandemic||The Philippine School, Dubai|
|Dwindling Lakes, Diminishing Rivers: Addressing Fresh Water Depletion||Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills, Dubai|
|Reviving Indigenous Secrets: Unlocking Locally Driven Sustainable Change.||Our Own High School Al Warqa’a | Dubai|
|Reaching Earth’s Threshold: Our Response to the Tipping Point||The Philippine School, Dubai|
The coveted rolling trophy went to The Philippine School, Dubai who managed to score the highest points in this year’s competition.