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Home » EEG: 23rd Cycle of the Inter-College Environmental Public Speaking Competition concludes

EEG: 23rd Cycle of the Inter-College Environmental Public Speaking Competition concludes

by Madaline Dunn

Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) recently conducted the 23rd edition of the annual Inter-College Environmental Public Speaking Competition from November 20th to 23rd, 2023, located at Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai. 

The event brought together over 450 students for a bilingual (Arabic/English) competition, fostering a forum for the region’s undergraduate youth to articulate their environmental concerns and propose viable solutions. 

The program was designed in a hybrid format, and offered teams the flexibility to engage virtually or in-person, enabling the participation of 89 teams from 24 countries representing different regions.

The four-day event aimed to facilitate broader participation across multi-faceted environmental challenges, and provide an “exceptional educational platform” for a wider array of institutions. In this cycle, the participating teams vied for the prestigious rolling trophy across diverse subject matters, including:

1. Environmental Policies and Regulations: Are they Enough?

2. Rising Energy Demands: Satiable with Renewable Energy or Oil Indispensable?

3. Multinational Corporations: Compelling Economic Growth or Environmental Degradation?

4. The Omnipresent Microplastics: The Unseen Pandemic

EEG Co-Founder and Chairperson, Ms. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, launched the 23rd cycle and said: “The Inter-College Environmental Public Speaking Competition was established in the UAE in 2001. Our aim with this programme is to empower the youth in the Arab World to comprehend the pressing environmental challenges and contribute to finding innovative solutions. Over the years, EEG has been nurturing the skills of our young leaders, who possess both technological prowess and boundless energy.”

Expanding on this, Al Mar’ashi added: “Our primary objective is to provide a platform for these young people, who are directly influenced by the environmental shifts. It is our responsibility to listen to them, underscoring the vital role of youth in addressing climate change’s impacts. The youth are technologically adept, intelligent, and dynamic, equipped with fresh and innovative solutions. Therefore, it is our obligation to provide them with a platform to articulate their ideas, acknowledging their pivotal role in building a sustainable future.”

Eight bilingual sustainability experts came on board to adjudicate this edition of the competition, including:

· Eng. Redha H. Salman, Expert, Environment Health & Safety – Dubai Municipality

· Dr. Sabih G. Khisaf, Infrastructure Lead Engineer, MENA, Hyperloop TT

· Ms. Reem Khallaf, Sustainability Analyst, Accenture

· Dr. Bayan K. S. AbuShaban, Senior Specialist, Environmental Sustainability

· Engr. Yousef Mohamed AlMarzooqi, Director of Standards, Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology

· Mr. Imad Eddine Oubiri, Sr. Business Advisor, UAE

· Mr. Mario Saab, Head of Sustainability MENA – Cundall

· Mr. Ashraf Kraidy, Founder & Director General, AKST Consulting

The winners of the 23rd cycle of Inter College Environmental Public Speaking Competition were:

  • Topic 1: Environmental Policies and Regulations: Are they Enough? University of Bolton RAK, Civil engineering, UAE
  • Topic 2: Rising Energy Demands: Satiable with Renewable Energy or Oil Indispensable King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Faculty Of Architecture And Planning, KSA
  • Topic 3: Multinational Corporations: Compelling Economic Growth or Environmental Degradation? Prince Sultan University, College of Humanities with the PSU Debate Club, KSA
  • Topic 4: The Omnipresent Microplastics: The Unseen Pandemic King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Faculty of Medicine, KSA

The overall rolling trophy was won by Prince Sultan University, College of Humanities, with the PSU Debate Club, KSA, who cumulatively achieved the highest score across the four-day competition. 

The competition received support from organisations, including UPS and Accenture. Abela & Co was the caterer for the event, and Higher College of Technology (Dubai Women’s College) was the venue host. 

In the last edition of the Inter College event, EEG’s chairperson announced that the competition will be open to universities beyond the Arab region for the first time to commemorate the efforts of the UAE to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the momentous occasion of hosting COP 28. 

The 23rd cycle of the competition also grew this year and witnessed participation from several countries outside the MENA region.

Having accreditations from the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and building on the work of EEG to deliver on the relevant UNSDGs, it shared that it conducted the event to directly address and work on the deliverables of UN SDG Goal #2: Zero Hunger, #3: Good Health and Well-Being, #6: Clean Water and Sanitation, #7: Affordable and Clean Energy, #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, #12: Responsible Consumption and Production, #13: Climate Action, #14: Life Below Water, #15: Life on Land, and #17: Partnership for the Goals.

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