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    The challenge and outcome

    Restoring and recovering degraded land involves describing the problem, assessing the trend, identifying the drivers, analysing gaps and opportunities and then acting to avoid, reduce or reverse land degradation. The challenge is to showcase at least one of these issues in an appealing way to engage the youth to act towards the safeguard of the rapidly degrading land. The aim is for the youth to become acquainted with land degradation and desertification issues and to get more involved in sustaining livelihoods and improving quality of life.

    You may choose among the themes below to highlight through a short but appealing message the issue and impact on enhanced livelihoods or quality of life:

    • Sustainable land/soil management through smart choices (e.g., agriculture, urbanization, etc.);
    • Safeguarding the land/soil through technology or technical know-how;
    • Solutions for improved land/soil use through best practices;
    • Production and consumption supporting land/soil health through smart investments;
    • Ending forced migration, i.e., greater security, peace or stability by combating desertification.

    Who can participate?

    The challenge is open to adolescent and young adults between the ages of 15 – 30 either individually or in small groups. We encourage students and young professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, faculty, teachers, and others to submit their ideas.

    Two categories will be considered for the selection of finalists, based on age by the time of the Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June 2021:

    • people 18 years and below and
    • people 19 years old and above.

    Only one (1) submission will be allowed per individual or group with submissions made in individual capacity and not on behalf of an organization.

    All submissions will be featured on the challenge page of the Unite Ideas platform but only the winners may be highlighted on the ESCWA website and invited for an online ceremony on or around 17 June, the 2021 Desertification and Drought Day.

    What should you submit?

    The task involves making a short video providing a simple but appealing message on an issue that pertains to land degradation, which could be a description of the problem, ways to address it or a combination of both. The maximum video’s length would be 2-3 minutes and could be a monologue, a poem, a song, a comedy, a play, a game, an interview or a more elaborate short movie or documentary. Videos in Arabic, English and French are welcome, other languages will not be accepted in this challenge.

    Selection of winners

    The finalists will be called upon to present their projects as part of the celebration of the 2021 Desertification and Drought Day on or around June 17. No other reward or incentive will be provided.

    The submissions will be evaluated based on:

    • Alignment with challenge objective, i.e., restoring degraded land;
    • Originality or innovativeness
    • Likely impact effectiveness
    • Quality of video

    Will I own my solution after I submit it?

    You remain the owner of any solution or content you submit. However, all the inputs and outputs of this project are required to be covered by recognized open-source and creative commons licenses. This means that other people will be able to use your solution as per the conditions specified on the open-source license you choose. You will be asked to accept terms and conditions prior to submitting any content.

    To learn more about why digital public goods can help to create a more equitable world visit the Digital Public Goods Alliance.

    Get started by learning more about land degradation and get ideas for your submission

    Useful background on land degradation: