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EPAA: 58 Percent Increase In Participants In The 12th Sharjah Sustainability Award With 767 Institutional, University, And School Submissions

Her Excellency Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA), confirmed that the Sharjah Sustainability Award (SSA) marks a milestone in the local award system within the field of sustainability and has achieved significant success in bringing about the desired qualitative change in the culture of sustainability and its practices at the level of individuals, institutions, and other community categories in Sharjah and the United Arab Emirates.


Participation Growth of 58%

Her Excellency Hana Saif Al Suwaidi explained that the SSA, in its twelfth edition for the year 2023/2024, received 767 files from institutions, students of local universities and colleges, and governmental, private, and foreign schools from various Emirates of the UAE. This represents a 58% increase compared to the 485 submissions received in the previous edition, taking the total number of submissions since the award's inception in 2012 to the current edition to 282 submissions. This unprecedented achievement reflects the growing interest among institutions, school administrations, universities, and students in exerting more efforts and launching environmental projects and programs, presenting their innovative ideas and distinctive awareness activities, all aiming to achieve sustainability, conserve biodiversity, and enhance quality of life in a safe and comprehensive community. This aligns with the vision and objectives of the EPAA, which stem from the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah.


334 Green Submissions

Her Excellency Hana Saif Al Suwaidi said: "The current edition of the award received 334 files in the 'Green Schools' category from school students, representing 150 governmental, private, and foreign schools from all seven Emirates, cities, and regions. These files were distributed across the seven areas of the Green Schools category, which include rationalization of electricity and water use, sustainable environmental project, best environmental project in artificial intelligence, environmental innovator, creative writing for a short story in both Arabic and English, short environmental film, and the green school."


It was noted that the (universities) category received 406 files from students of 13 universities and colleges across the country, including the University of Sharjah, the American University of Sharjah, Skyline University College, Al Qasimia University, Higher Colleges of Technology from all branches in the UAE, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi University, the United Arab Emirates University, New York University, the British University in Dubai, the University of Dubai, the American University in Ras Al Khaimah, and Ajman University. It highlighted the participation of 125 members of the academic staff of these universities as supervisors for the student projects participating in the six fields of this category, which are centered around sustainable design and construction, scientific research in sustainability, artificial intelligence applications in sustainability, maintaining and protecting environmental resource sustainability, future energy and emissions, and sustainability in protecting human health and the environment.


The institutions category receives 27 entries:

The Chairperson of the (EPAA), expressed her gratitude to all the government entities that were keen to participate in the institutions category in the field of environmental innovation to achieve sustainability, which is a main category introduced for the first time in this edition as part of the ongoing developmental plan for the award. It supplements the previous two categories for schools and universities. The institutions category received files from 27 institutions from the Emirates of Sharjah, Dubai, Ajman, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah.


14 accompanying introductory meetings:

It is worth mentioning that the total organizing committee for the award held 14 introductory meetings with participants in the green schools category before starting to receive participation and nomination files. The aim was to acquaint them with the conditions and criteria for evaluating projects in all fields in both Arabic and English. These meetings were attended by 224 students and project officials.


Assessment Procedure of the Award Projects

The assessment of the submitted projects starts on February and will end by April 2024 .  The assessment procedure comprises two phases.  The initial  phase includes the assessment of all projects final report based on specific criteria with specific points for each domain as well as nominating the good projects that fit the award criteria for the final assessment phase.  The final phase includes the display of the short-listed projects in open exhibition to be disscussed and assessmed by the concerned judging panel.

Two assessemt exhibitions will be conducted on mid of April for the schools category and universities category. While  field visits will be conducted for the nominated short list institutions.

Announcement of the winners:

After the end of assessing all projects of all award categories (schools, universities and institutions(,  the judging team of the SSA will nominate the winning projects according to their fullfillment of all award criteria.

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