The UAE’s President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, honored 11 winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the world’s leading award for sustainability and humanitarianism, at a ceremony held at COP28 UAE in Expo City Dubai today.
The event was attended by many dignitaries from around the world, who came to witness the remarkable achievements of the winners and finalists in the fields of health, food, energy, water, climate action, and global high schools.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize celebrates the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a visionary leader and a champion of social good. The Prize rewards small and medium enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and high schools that are solving the most pressing challenges of our time. Since its inception 15 years ago, the Prize has improved the lives of 384 million people worldwide through its 106 previous winners.
The 11 winners for this cycle were selected in September by a panel of eminent Jury members, who assessed each entry for its impact, innovation, and inspiration across the six categories.
To further its commitment to advancing sustainable and humanitarian development, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has announced a significant increase in its endowment, from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million, effective immediately.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “The UAE is proud to support the global efforts to combat climate change and empower the most vulnerable communities. Today, we award US $1 million to each of our outstanding winners in Health, Food, Water, Energy, and Climate Action, and US $150,000 to each Global High Schools winner. This generous funding will enable them to scale up their innovative solutions and make a positive difference for our planet, especially in the Global South.”
“As we mark the 15th anniversary of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, we reflect on the UAE’s vision to drive inclusive sustainable development and climate action. The Prize not only pays tribute to Sheikh Zayed’s legacy of social good but also extends the impact of his vision on a global scale.”
With a larger fund, the Prize can support more innovative solutions that not only benefit the environment but also enhance the well-being and economic development of the world’s most climate-vulnerable communities.
In the new Climate Action category, Kelp Blue, a Namibian SME, won the Prize for its ambitious project to grow large-scale kelp forests in deep waters, restoring ocean biodiversity and capturing 100,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. Their operations have also created job opportunities for coastal communities.
The Prize for the Health category went to doctorSHARE from Indonesia, for their innovative work in providing healthcare access to remote areas, using floating hospitals on barges. They have made a significant impact, treating over 160,000 patients.
The Prize for the Food category was awarded to Gaza Urban & Peri-urban Agricultural Platform (GUPAP) from Palestine, for their efforts in strengthening the agricultural sector in Gaza. The NPO supports the production and consumption of local food, creating job opportunities for 200 women agripreneurs and improving the lives of more than 7,000 people.
The Prize for the Energy category went to Ignite Power, a Rwandan SME that has transformed the lives of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa by providing them with low-cost electricity. Their solar solutions, which operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, have reached 2.5 million people and avoided 600,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. In addition, Ignite Power has created 3,500 local jobs and implemented solar-powered irrigation systems.
Eau et Vie, a French NPO, was the winner of the Water category for its work in improving access to clean water in poor urban areas. They have installed taps in the homes of 52,000 people in 27 communities across 10 cities. They have also educated 66,000 people on hygiene practices and cut down water expenses by 75%.
The Global High Schools Awards, part of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, honor high schools that are implementing innovative sustainable solutions in six regions of the world. The Prize is a tribute to the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his vision for sustainable development and humanitarian action. The winners of the awards are:
For The Americas: Colegio De Alto Rendimiento De La Libertad (Peru)
For Sub-Saharan Africa: Gwani Ibrahim Dan Hajja Academy (Nigeria)
For the Middle East & North Africa: International School (Morocco)
For Europe & Central Asia: Northfleet Technology College (United Kingdom)
For South Asia: KORT Education Complex (Pakistan)
For East Asia & Pacific: Beijing High School No. 35 (China)
The Prize has made a positive difference in the lives of 384 million people worldwide, through its 106 winners over 15 years.