By Marisol Bo-oc | 12:25 PM October 07, 2021
The Bohol Wisdom School in Tagbilaran City is one of the finalists for the Global High Schools category of the Zayed Sustainability Prize.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the United Arab Emirates’s pioneering award for recognising sustainable solutions and humanitarianism.
The five students of Bohol Wisdom School came up with an automated water-quality monitoring system for aquaculture ponds, which landed among the 30 finalists in the prize’s 2022 cycle.
Other finalists were UWC ISAK Japan (Japan), and Shanghai World Foreign Language Academy (China).
It is already quite an achievement, as the Zayed Sustainability Prize received 4,000 applications.
A total of 30 finalists were confirmed and are now vying for 10 awards, across the five categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools. This year, the Prize received a remarkable 4,000 applications, marking a significant 68.5% increase in entries compared to the previous cycle, while attracting submissions from a record 151 countries, representing over three quarters of the world’s nations.
The Prize Jury, comprising former heads of state, government ministers and international business figures, convened through a virtual meeting to review shortlisted submissions identified by the Prize’s Selection Committee in August.
In his remarks, H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, highlighted how the Prize continues to act as an enabler and accelerator for global impact, from life-saving health solutions to food security enhancements, and from vital renewable energy to clean water, adding: “The Zayed Sustainability Prize continues to further the legacy and values of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and in particular his vision for humanitarian and sustainable progress throughout the world”.
The Prize’s Director General went on to say: “As the UAE celebrates its Jubilee this year, the Prize aligns perfectly with the “Principles of the Fifty”, the blueprint for progress that our wise leadership announced earlier this month to expand the country’s positive economic impact globally. The Prize has already improved the lives of millions around the world and will continue to expand as a force for good that contributes to a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals”. He added that the extensive participation level from knowledge-based economies and emerging markets alike, reflects the current direction towards greater social inclusivity as the world gears up for COP26 and expediated climate action resiliency in the evolving context of post-pandemic recovery.
This year, finalists effectively addressed and proposed solutions for a spectrum of global challenges, often presenting solutions that are integrated and can benefit communities in more than one area, such as power and water synergies. Most entries focused on ecosystems’ resilience and affordability of solutions, underscoring a clear case for the economic benefits of sustainability innovation, while many of those solutions leverage next generation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive impact.
The Chair of the Jury and former President of the Republic of Iceland, H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, added: “The innovation and diversity demonstrated in this year’s applications, including inspiring projects envisioned by the youth, is a testament to the Prize’s ongoing ability to engage sustainability pioneers, worldwide, while offering a platform and steppingstone for transformation and added human impact”.
In the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, each winner receives USD600,000. The Global High Schools category has six winners, representing six world regions, with each winner receiving up to USD100,000.
Since its launch in 2008, the US$3 million Prize has, directly and indirectly, transformed the lives of over 352 million people across 150 countries. Today, the Prize remains a catalyst for addressing the world’s most pressing issues as it continues to drive and deliver long-term impact to various communities around the world.
Established in 2008, this annual award recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.