Interschool Sustainability Competition Engages over 40,000 Students across the UAE
GEMS Our Own High School Al Warqa’a wins Clean Energy Business Council’s 2017 Interschool Competition with ‘Protect the Planet’ Film
Dubai – UAE, 28 June 2017: More than 40,000 students from 30 schools across the Emirates participated in the 2017 edition of the Clean Energy Business Council’s (CEBC) annual UAE Interschool Competition. GEMS Our Own High School Al Warqa’a were awarded this year’s grand prize of AED 5,000 to support sustainability initiatives at the school, which was given out during an awards ceremony at the school on 19 June. Winners of the Students’ Choice voting prize of AED 3,000 were the students of Universal American School.
This year’s competition centered on short films, with all participating schools given the option to submit up to three films under than five minutes, under the theme ‘Protect the Planet’. The winning film was selected for its holistic approach, and for portraying a sense of ownership for a sustainable future. Focusing on Dubai as a whole, the film involved everyone from government officials, to laborers, to the students’ own families, showcasing efforts to conserve water and electricity, recycle and make the world a more environmentally friendly place.
CEBC works to scale up awareness and action on clean energy in the region. The UAE has set an ambitious target of achieving 44 percent clean energy by 2050, by investing in various forms of renewable energy and balancing the national energy mix. Grassroots initiatives such as this serve to educate coming generations about the importance of adopting sustainable practices across all parts of society.
“Young generations hold the key to our future, a future in which a sustainable approach to energy is essential for the prosperity and well-being of countries all around the world,” said Stephane le Gentil, CEO of the Clean Energy Business Council. “This competition, and similar activities that instil a holistic approach to protecting the planet, hold an important position in supporting national education initiatives. The submissions we saw for this year’s competition were brilliant, with GEMS Our Own leading the pack. It is exciting to see over 40,000 creative young minds come together to shine a spotlight on what we can do to improve society and make the world more sustainable.”
Principal Sanjeev Jolly of GEMS Our Own High School Al Warqa’a, added: “Schools are in the best position to make children recognize the blessings of the Almighty upon all, by providing us a beautiful and a resourceful world, which no one should take for granted. We need to protect it and nurture it for our posterity. We at Our Own are blessed with children who comprehend this, and teachers who assist students to execute their roles on this planet by inspiring them and by working with them. We are privileged to be working in close partnership with CEBC, which provides a variety of platforms where children learn the importance of conservation.”
The annual competition is part of CEBC’s ‘Schools Environmental Protection Program’, which serves to support and encourage students and schools in the UAE to learn about clean energy and its future in the region. In addition to the competition, the program also comprises workshops and knowledge sharing initiatives with the support from the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding.
To conduct workshops in this cycle of the program, CEBC partnered with Dubai Solar Schools, an initiative created by ArchItaly Green Energy DMCC with an aim to help schools reduce both their energy bills and carbon footprint. Architaly’s managing director David Provenzani met with students and school boards over the course of the year to raise awareness of solar energy and discuss initiatives surrounding rooftop solar panel installations on schools in the UAE.