DUBAI // The 12 winners of this year's Dubai International Best Practice Award will each receive a prize of $30,000 (Dh110,000) for their efforts to improve the living environment.
Dubai Municipality, which has handed out the award in partnership with UN Habitat since 1995, named projects from nations including Lebanon, Bulgaria, El Salvador and Mongolia for their honours list.
This year's theme was climate change, a controversial subject according to Dr Diana Lee-Smith, who chairs the international jury that chose the winners.
"This is a hot topic in terms of economic interests and people want to be sure the science is correct so it generated a lot of heat," Dr Lee-Smith said.
"Regarding the precise data and whether the globe is warming and how that is calculated, of course there is controversy. But that the climate is changing? I don't think there is a dispute."
The winning projects also included entries from Angola, Argentina, Kenya, Austria, Brazil, Mexico and Spain, which had two winners.
Wandia Seaforth, who heads the UN Habitat best practices programme, said the 400 entries showed that people were responding to urgent issues such as migration and flooding.
"These are practices that are responding to old and new problems, and the importance is that we are learning to change policies," she said.
"Some regions have very high numbers of youth and there is the so-called 'youth bulge', so this can be a very explosive subject."