On June 5, 2023, 2023 Youth Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Innovation Marathon, a contest igniting young people’s creativity and innovative solutions was successfully held at Chebaling Biosphere Reserve. The Marathon was jointly organized by Integrated Research on Disaster Risk and Horizon Global Youth Development Program, an affiliated body under the School of Social Sciences at Tsinghua University, and got supported by UNESCO Beijing Office, the China National Committee for MAB Programme (MAB China), and Chebaling Biosphere Reserve.
The contest was a part of IRDR pilot study which was designed to mobilize and increase awareness among youth and young professionals in science, engineering, technology and innovation for disaster risk reduction and to facilitate their collaboration with other stakeholders. It has engaged more than 3000 enthusiasts at the initial phase and the participants came from universities and colleges from China and abroad, international organizations as well as private sector. Among them, the female accounted for 64% and the young people aging 18-25 accounted for 79%.
Under the theme Sustainable Consumption& Production, Science and Technology Innovation and Disaster Risk Reduction& Environment Protection, there were 66 project teams proposed innovative proposals and solutions on climate change mitigation and adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and 15 project teams entered the final phase of the contest.
Here is the selection of the awarded project teams:
Here are some example proposals:
Natural Based Solutions driven by AI(AI-NBS) aims to activate and strengthen the self-purification of water bodies and restore the water-related ecosystem. As it can effectively dissolve organic pollutants and harmful algal blooms in water bodies, the degradation of natural habitats and loss of biodiversity can be reduced and even reverted, especially for freshwater and marine ecosystem.
2. Prevention of Harmful Algal Blooms
The prevention of harmful algal blooms and environmentally friendly fishery economy development. The solution innovatively introduces a mixed ecological culture technology of shellfish and algae to the field of water purification and algal bloom prevention. The solution has huge potential to be commercialized and its restoration effect on the marine ecological environment could be ensured.
3. Proxima Project
Referring to the results of the First National Survey of Comprehensive Natural Disaster Risks, the project proposes a plan to improve communities’ disaster risk management capacity, through formulating disaster reduction plans, providing technical support, and establishing communication platforms. The project is to alleviate the unbalanced development of disaster risk reduction capacity for grassroot communities.
June 5th is designated as the World Environment Day to highlight that the protection and health of the environment is a major issue, and it was quite meaningful to have the contest held on the day as it informed all people tackling climate crisis needs collaborative efforts from all sides of the society.