Banque Libano-Française and the AUB’s Issam Fares Institute held on Wednesday, January 9, the Awards Ceremony for the Second Edition of the Annual Climate Change Student Competition in Partnership with IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands
Beirut, January 10, 2019 – Building on the success of their first annual student competition, Banque Libano-Française (BLF) and AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) partnered with the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and the Netherlands’ Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands to launch the second edition of the Climate Change Student Competition for 2018-2019, under the theme “Climate Change and Water Scarcity, Exploring the Water- Energy- Food Nexus”. The selected theme addresses the Water-Energy-Food nexus and how to transform it from theory to practice in adapting to climate change and water scarcity challenges.
The ceremony was inaugurated by Dr. Tarek Mitri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute, Mrs. Raya Raphaël Nahas, Banque Libano-Française General Manager, and Mr. Floris van Slijpe, First Secretary, Embassy of the Netherlands in Lebanon.
In his opening remarks Dr. Mitri emphasized on the importance of this competition which aims to incite graduate students to think of practical solutions and not only theoretical approach in their research on the Water Energy Food Nexus. He thanked Banque Libano-Française for their collaboration on this important project for the second consecutive year and welcomed the contribution of the Netherlands embassy in Lebanon as well as IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and the Netherlands’ Wageningen University and Research (WUR) to this year’s competition. He indicated that unlike last year, this year’s competition (2018-2019) went regional and was open to graduate students from universities in Arab countries such as Jordan, Palestine, and Iraq as well as from IHE Delft and WUR in the Netherlands, hoping that next year there will be more international students taking part of this project.
Mrs. Raphaël Nahas explained that this year’s theme tackles the importance of finding solutions for the sustainable development of Lebanon and the region. This competition falls under the Bank’s responsibility to invest in the youth’s education and research by supporting knowledge, skills and technology needed to fight water scarcity in the future. She stated that Banque Libano-Française feels the sense of urgency and recognizes the responsibility to conduct business in a sustainable manner, to preserve the environment, to add value to the society, and believes it has an impact on its stakeholders and the community it operates in to foster sustainable development.
This ceremony was an opportunity to announce the names of the top six winners who presented their research ideas.
The first prize was won by two participants, Amani Matar (IHE-Delft) and
Moises Perez Covarrubias (WUR), the second prize went to Mariam Rabaa (Beirut Arab University), and Christelle Moussa (AUB). The winners of the third prize were Sana Al Sayed (Mutah University in Jordan) and Jad Saade (NDU).
During the ceremony, a short video showcased the findings and impact of last year’s Climate Change Student Competition winners and their research briefs were handed out to the audience.
The competition aims to encourage interdisciplinary research on climate change adaptation and water scarcity solutions that can inform policy making. It offers graduate students the opportunity to select, design, and present innovative and multidisciplinary research ideas from both the applied natural, technical and the social sciences that are geared towards climate change in the region.