The Youth Earth Summit has been run by the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) as a highly successful occasional event since the first summit in 2014.
Since its inception, the Youth Earth Summit has aimed to promote and motivate students to engage in scientific research on current environmental issues facing the UAE community today. In line with this tradition, UOWD and ICBA partnered on the Youth Earth Summit 2021 edition which focuses on Innovations in Agriculture.
Theme for YES 2021 - Innovations in Agriculture
This year, the summit will be held on 22 May 2021 which is the International Day for Biological Diversity. Agriculture is responsible for 70-80% of global deforestation driven by conversion of forests intro agriculture and tree plantations (for paper and wood). Forests are in turn habitat for more than 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity so losing them is threatening our biodiversity. We need smart agricultural solutions in order to restore our Earth and conserve our forests and biodiversity.
In addition to the global challenges with agriculture, the UAE also faces specific challenges due to the limited availability of freshwater and arable land. The World Bank shows that the UAE imported 18.17 billion dollars of food products, vegetables and animals during 2018, this has increased 21% from 5 years earlier. These food imports represent ~90% of food consumption in the UAE. The UAE aspires to increase its domestic production of food during the coming years, specifically through technology-driven solutions.
The decade from 2020 to 2030 has been identified by the UN as the “Decade of action” with the aim of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The second of these goals is Zero Hunger and is intertwined with the improvement of food security encompassing food affordability, availability, quality & safety.
Objectives and Outcomes
The intention of the Youth Earth Summit 2021 is to consider the issues and identify potential innovative approaches to address one or more food security issues in relation to the UAE.
Projects submitted could propose solutions for any challenge faced across the food value chain including producers of agricultural inputs, growers, processors, retailers, and consumers. You could look at smart innovations which increase agricultural output, or at ways of ensuring more crops reach a market, or of ensuring that the crops that get to market are of high value, you could look at how Innovations in Agriculture can have the most benefit to the end consumer.
Innovations in Agriculture Sub Themes
The subthemes for YES 2021 are:
- Tech-enabled food production (inputs, farming and harvesting)
- Innovations in post-harvest value chains (storage, processing, transportation)
- Disruptive retail (packaging, distribution, consumption)
Who Can Participate
This event is aimed at high school and university students within the UAE and it will be conducted in the form of a conference. Schools and Universities will be invited to submit a Statement of Problem (SOP) before the 8th of May. These will be reviewed for relevance to the question proposed in the background above. Those that are considered innovative and relevant will be invited to present during the summit.
Prior to the summit, the SOPs/ abstracts will be circulated amongst attendees. On the day of the event, these groups will give a professional virtual presentation on their project, on which they will be judged by their peers and by a panel of experts.
Groups who are unable to make a submission would still be welcome to register and virtually attend the summit to listen to the innovative ideas which are presented. Attendees will be able to vote for the presentation they like the best. Following the presentations, the judges will identify the top three posters who will win awards for their work.
All participants will receive a virtual welcome pack after they register and confirm their attendance.
All participants will receive e-Certificates of Participation that will be emailed to their respective school faculty representatives within 3 weeks after the event.
Rules and Regulations
- The competition will be between groups with 4-5 members and one mentor.
- Each school/university should register the participants under the school/university banner.
- Each school/university should register a Faculty representative (hereby to be referred as Mentor) to supervise the participants.
- Each school/university can register as many teams as it wishes, with up to FIVE (5) students per team.
- Each team must have a different mentor.
- Registration is first come, first serve basis.
- Registration is free, but submission of a registration form is required.
- Once registered, student and/or mentor names can NOT be changed.
- Schools are solely responsible for ensuring the spellings of the participating student/mentor names are CORRECT on the forms and readable. We regret we will NOT be able to reprint ANY certificates/e- Certificates once they have been issued.
- Participants who have not registered their attendance prior to the event date will not be allowed to attend.
- Any participant attempting to disrupt the contest environment in any way will be disqualified.
- Any teams copying ideas or content without due acknowledgement will be disqualified.
- Participants requiring any kind of assistance will be expected to reach out to the organizers.
- Winners will be declared based on the decision of the Judges Committee.
- Committees’ decisions are final.
Youth Earth Summit Day Plan*
|8:30am – 9:00am||Registration, Virtual Tour of UOWD Campus and facilities|
|9:00am – 10:00am||Welcome Address, Keynote Speech, Rules and Procedures|
|10:00am – 1:00pm||Competition Presentations in Parallel Sessions|
|1:00pm – 1:30pm||Voting Break|
|1:30pm – 2:30pm||Closing Address and Prize-Giving Ceremony|
*Schedules are subject to change without notice.
- Mentors are expected to be chosen by the respective schools in order to supervise and mentor students.
- Mentors are solely responsible for their participants, particularly on the day of the competition.
- Mentors are expected to support their participants for the competition.
- Mentors have to remain online for the entire duration of the competition and supervise their participants virtually.
At the end of the competition, each Mentor will receive a Thank You pack that will contain:
- e-Certificates of Participation for their students and e-Certificates of Appreciation for Mentors.
University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD)
The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is one of the oldest accredited universities in the UAE. Established in 1993, today it represents a diverse environment for learning in the Gulf region using the latest teaching and learning methods and technologies.
UOWD’s curriculum and teaching practices reflect those of UOW Australia, which ranks among the top 1% of universities worldwide. The institution offers 45 programs including foundation courses and undergraduate and post-graduate degrees spanning 10 industry sectors, such as engineering, business, ICT, healthcare, communications and media. These degrees are formally recognized by leading professional organisations such as AACSB, CIPD, ACCA, CPA, AHRI, CIM, CIMA, CIPS, EFQM and ACS.
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