KAMPALA– Standard Chartered Bank Uganda in partnership with Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda [ECOTRUST] on Tuesday launched a US$ 18,565 [Shs 69,450,000] Climate Change Innovation Challenge for schools at an event that was held at Old Kampala Senior Secondary School.
The colourful event was presided over by the Lead Forest Officer, Ministry of Water and Environment, Bob Kazungu in the presence of several participating school representatives.
The Climate Change Innovation Challenge is one of the bank’s long-month planned environmental initiatives. 30 secondary schools are expected to participate in the challenge
The Climate Change Innovation Challenge will drive secondary school students in the Kampala Metropolitan Area to use their critical thinking and research skills to come up with innovative solutions to environmental issues affecting their communities.
The Innovation Challenge core objective is to further advance the Bank’s bold stand – ‘Accelerating Net Zero’. Five innovative proposals will each be funded to a tune of US$1,000 to implement the ideas.
Furthermore, the Bank will partner with Buhimba Farmer’s Union under the employee volunteering programme in the implementation of a tree cover restoration project for smallholder farmers in Kikuube district – in the Albertine Rift Region.
During the launch, Margaret Kigozi the Head, Corporate Affairs Brand and Marketing of Standard Chartered Bank Uganda said: “The youth are an important constituency in the conservation of biodiversity and have a huge impact on it. They are energetic, technology-savvy, constantly evolving, oriented to problem-solving, and often propagate active consumerism. Their strong comprehension of sustainability which advocates for a reduction in footprints and improved quality of life across sectors and industries is essential for the future.”
She said that as organisers of the event, they are excited to see several schools coming on board and eager to take part in the Climate Change Innovation Challenge and wished all the participants the best as they compete for the top spots as the rewards will be lucrative.
While launching the event, Bob – the Lead Forest Officer Ministry of Water & Environment, commended the Bank and its partners for this initiative stating lauded Standard Chartered Bank and ECOTRUST for supplementing government efforts in promoting environmental conservation.
“On behalf of the Government of Uganda, I wish to heartily thank Standard Chartered Bank Uganda and its implementing partners for supporting Government efforts by investing in involving the youth in promoting environmental conservation as well as appealing to the consciousness of the entire nation to be more proactive in finding solutions to solve the environmental challenges we are all faced with today,” he said.
He said the innovation challenge is a good example of ‘best practices’ in the fight against climate change-associated effects and “as government, we pledge our continued collaboration with the bank in your climate change journey.”
He urged various communities to all play a role in addressing the challenges of climate change, saying that there is need to change mindset towards environmental conservation by proactively planting trees at every opportunity and changing their impact on the environment “ by for instance using alternative fuels that don’t require tree cutting as well as adopting environmentally friendly behaviours and options.”
“Together I am certain we shall navigate the various devastating climate change challenges we experience today,” he said.
The participating students, working in teams, are expected to develop a solution to an environmental issue affecting their school or community. The students report on the problem and their proposed solution through a clear “action plan” and an itemized budget in line with the activities set in the proposal.
The proposals are to be submitted via email to the organisers on July 3, 2022, in advance of the final pitching by 10 shortlisted schools to be held on July 8, 2022.
The shortlisted school – teams will be invited to the pitching event and will be given 10 minutes to present their action plans In front of a panel of judges.
The winning ideas will be recognised and awarded at the event on July 8, 2022. The top five winners will each receive US$ 1000 whilst the other participants will also walk away with gifts courtesy of Standard Chartered Bank Uganda.
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