Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development Announces 33 Finalists Advancing Global Sustainability Initiatives

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Press office: Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development

  • 33 finalists selected from 5,213 applications spread across 163 countries
  • Finalists champion effective climate action and support access to clean energy, water, food and healthcare.

The Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainable development and humanitarian prize, has announced this year’s finalists following a deliberation by its prestigious jury.

Winners will be announced at the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development ceremony on December 1 during the UAE COP28, the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held from November 30 to December 12.

The Zayed Prize for Sustainability jury selected the 33 finalists from 5,213 applications received in six categories: health, food, energy, water, climate action and global high schools – a 15% increase in the number of applications compared to Last year. The new Climate Action category, introduced to mark the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the UAE’s hosting of COP28, received 3,178 nominations.

Hailing from Brazil, Indonesia, Rwanda and 27 other countries, the finalists represent small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofit organizations and secondary schools, and reflect the Prize’s growing mandate to recognize innovations that transcend borders and tackle pressing global challenges.

HE Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development and President-designate of COP28, said the finalists exemplify remarkable ingenuity and commitment unwavering in shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for our country. planet.

“The Zayed Prize for Sustainable Development continues the enduring legacy of the UAE’s visionary leader, Sheikh Zayed, whose commitment to sustainable development and humanitarianism continues to inspire us. This legacy remains the beacon of our nation’s aspirations, propelling us forward in our mission to uplift communities around the world. Over the past 15 years, the Prize has been a powerful force for positive change, transforming the lives of more than 378 million people in 151 countries. We have encouraged solutions that drive climate and economic progress in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions.

During this cycle, we received a record number of applications from all continents. The innovations proposed by the finalists reflect a deep dedication to inclusion and an unwavering determination to close critical gaps. These solutions directly align with the four pillars of the UAE COP28 agenda: accelerating a just and equitable energy transition, addressing climate finance, focusing on people, lives and livelihoods, and supporting all in a totally inclusive way. The work of these sustainability pioneers will deliver practical solutions for climate progress that will protect the planet, improve livelihoods and save lives.

Thanks to the 106 winners of the Prize to date, 11 million people have had access to clean water, 54 million households have had access to reliable energy, 3.5 million people have had access to more nutritious food and more than 728,000 people gained access to affordable healthcare. .

HE Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, chair of the prize jury, said: “As global challenges continue to grow, our new group of prize finalists reveal the extraordinary efforts being made around the world to meet the needs of the moment with determination and innovation – inspiring hope for a bright future. Whether restoring ocean wilderness, using technology to ensure better, more sustainable agricultural yields, or driving change for individuals without access to affordable healthcare, these innovators transform our world.

The Health finalists are:

  • Alkion BioInnovations is a French SME specializing in the supply of cost-effective and sustainable active ingredients for large-scale pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
  • ChildLife Foundation is a non-profit organization from Pakistan that uses an innovative Hub & Spoke healthcare model, connecting emergency rooms as hubs to telemedicine satellite centers.
  • doctorSHARE is an Indonesian non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to healthcare in remote and inaccessible areas using floating hospitals mounted on barges.

The culinary finalists are:

  • Gaza Urban & Peri-urban Agricultural Platform is a Palestine non-profit organization that empowers women agripreneurs in Gaza to achieve food security in their communities.
  • Regen Organics is a Kenyan SME specializing in a municipal-scale manufacturing process that produces insect-based proteins for livestock feed and organic fertilizers for horticultural production.
  • Semilla Nueva is a non-profit organization in Guatemala specializing in the development of biofortified corn seeds.

The Energy finalists are:

  • Husk Power Systems is a United States of America SMB deploying AI-powered mini-grids that provide 24/7 renewable energy to homes, micro-businesses, health clinics and schools.
  • Ignite Power is a Rwandan SME specializing in providing solar-powered pay-as-you-go solutions to electrify last-mile communities.
  • Koolboks is a French SME that provides off-grid solar refrigeration solutions with integrated Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring for last-mile communities, via a lease-to-own sales model.

The Water finalists are:

  • ADADK is a Jordanian SME that uses wireless smart sensors that use machine learning and augmented reality to detect visible and hidden water leaks.
  • Eau et Vie is a French non-profit organization that provides individual taps to the homes of disadvantaged urban dwellers, thus guaranteeing access to drinking water in slums.
  • TransForm is a non-profit organization from Denmark that uses innovative soil filtration technology for the cost-effective treatment of wastewater, sewage and sludge without the use of energy or chemicals.

The Climate Action finalists are:

  • CarbonCure is a Canadian SME specializing in carbon removal technology. They inject CO₂ into fresh concrete, effectively reducing its carbon footprint while maintaining performance standards.
  • The Foundation for Amazon Sustainability is a nonprofit organization in Brazil dedicated to implementing projects and programs that advance environmental conservation and empower indigenous communities to protect their rights.
  • Kelp Blue is a Namibian SME helping to restore ocean wilderness and mitigate excess CO₂ by establishing large-scale giant kelp forests in deep seas.

Global High Schools finalists presented project-based, student-led sustainability solutions, with finalists divided into 6 regions. Regional finalists include:

Americas: Colegio De Alto Rendimiento La Libertad (Peru); Baldomero Lillo Figueroa High School (Chile); and the New Horizons School (Argentina).

Europe and Central Asia: Northfleet Technology College (UK); Presidential School in Tashkent (Uzbekistan); and Split International School (Croatia).

Middle East and North Africa: International School (Morocco); JSS International School (United Arab Emirates); and Obour STEM School (Egypt).

Sub-Saharan Africa: Gwani Ibrahim Dan Hajja Academy (Nigeria); Lighthouse Primary and Secondary School (Mauritius); and USAP Community School (Zimbabwe).

South Asia: International Public School of India (India); KORT Educational Complex (Pakistan); and Obhizatrik School (Bangladesh).

East Asia and the Pacific: High School No. 35 in Beijing (China); Swami Vivekananda College (Fiji); and South Hill School, Inc. (Philippines).

In the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, each winner receives US$600,000. Each of the six winning global secondary schools receives up to US$100,000.

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