Winners announced in Abu Dhabi youngsters’ environment competition

Organised by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the event saw 2,087 submissions from 647 school and universities across the emirate.

ABU DHABI // A record number of students took part in this year’s 13th Annual Environment Competition.

Organised by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the event attracted 2,087 submissions from 647 schools and universities in the emirate. This year’s number of entries was 14 times higher than 2000, when the competition was first launched.

On Tuesday, the agency announced the winners in the competition which, this year, invited students to consider the environmental implications of food waste.

Competition categories included drawing, short-story writing and photography. Some participants were also asked to design public awareness campaigns against food waste.

“The success of the competition is a result of the collaboration between EAD and its partners at the Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and the educational zones in the capital, as well as Al Ain and the Western Region,” said Fozeya Al Mahmoud, director of environmental outreach at EAD.

“This competition is not only an effective way to raise awareness, but to ensure today’s generation is well equipped to become the environmental ambassadors of tomorrow.”

“The increase in the number has helped the competition grow into a unique platform that enables students to creatively express themselves and their views about major environmental concerns facing the UAE and the world,” she said.

The competition covered all age groups – from kindergarten age children, to school pupils and university students. Kindergarten and elementary school students were asked to submit paintings. Primary school students were asked to take pictures of food waste. Students from grades 7 to 9 were asked to organise a public awareness campaign on reducing food waste in their school.

High school students were challenged to take part in a debate and produce research papers on the topics. University students competed in designing public awareness posters and writing newspaper articles about the need to better utilise food resources.

In April, some of the students’ outstanding works were showcased at EAD’s headquarters in the Al Mamoura building in the capital.

“It is evident through the growing popularity of the competition, that students are seeking new ways to creatively express their views regarding environmental issues. We are pleased to provide the required platform for the younger generation to inspire action, and create a positive change within the UAE,” said Ms Al Mahmoud.

Approximately a third of all food produced in the world – a total of 1.3 billion tonnes – is wasted due to poor transport and harvesting practices, as well as wasteful consumption, according to the the United Nations Environment Programme annual estimations. At the same time, almost 900 million people in the world go hungry every day.

In Abu Dhabi, organic waste is about 39 per cent of total household waste reaching landfills. Nineteen per cent of all municipal waste is food items. While food waste is a misuse of resources it also has negative implications for climate. As food rots in landfills it releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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