Celebrating the people who protect the planet

According to Google’s Ngram Viewer, a tool that tracks word frequency over time, the visibility of “sustainability” began to increase sharply in the early 1970s. In recent decades, it has increased exponentially.

While it may be confusing to many, the concept of sustainability is far from simple. For a global environmental crisis that spans so many issues, strengthening what we know about sustainability is complex.

Whatever the difficulty, there is no time for delay. In 2022, a number of countries are experiencing their hottest days on record, and threats to biodiversity have only increased.

Fortunately, many are committed to addressing the looming crisis. This year sees a number of major international efforts addressing this issue, none as notable as Cop28, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in November.

It continues to increase work in the country on this issue. Another Emirati endeavor in this regard occurred during the ongoing Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Zayed Sustainability Prize. Ten out of 4,538 applications were declared winners. They will receive a $3 million share of the prize money.

Categories include health, food and water, and a separate chapter for high schools around the world, a reflection on the important role youth play in building a sustainable future. More importantly, they are not government agencies but are often small-scale projects created by local communities. They show that sustainability is something anyone can contribute to.

Among this year’s winners is Associacao Expedicionarios da Saude, created by Dr. Ricardo Ferreira. It is a Brazilian non-profit organization that provides medical care to indigenous people. About 500,000 of them lack basic health services because of their remoteness. Thanks to the work of Mr. Ferreira and the work of 90 volunteer doctors, 10,000 people have undergone surgeries.

A team of three Iraqi students and three teachers from the School for the Gifted in Mosul, Nineveh, was a particularly winning group from the Middle East. They won over their plans to develop a hydroponic greenhouse that will grow food all year round. It will save 532,000 liters of water and reduce 255 tons of emissions over three years. Water saving is a particularly significant achievement. Iraq is one of the most water stressed countries.

These may be great scientific achievements, but the prize is also hoped for for its human stories. Iraqi students spoke about the impact of the war against ISIS on their determination to build a sustainable future. “The war we witnessed in Mosul was a nightmare – it was unimaginable and it lost hope in many people but it gave us motivation. This is the feeling of hope we wanted to give,” said Abdul Rahman Nashat and Muhammad Ali, 16. Iraq and many countries we It passed and is still fighting the war.”

Each winner of the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2023 had an incredible group of people and an emotional story behind them. It may be the Bangladeshi non-profit Lidars that protects the water supply of 15,880 people, or the 26-year-old recipient of a cataract operation by the Associacao Expedicionarios da Saude, which allowed her to see her children for the first time. The diversity, achievement and life-saving significance of their work is the true meaning of sustainability.

Posted: January 18, 2023, 3:00 AM

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