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UNOOSA announces winners of Space4Youth competition

UNOOSA

Vienna, 8 September 2020. – The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) have today announced the winners of the second Space4Youth Competition.

For this edition, young people from all over the world were asked to come up with ideas and examples from their communities to leverage space for Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.

The competition supports the implementation of the UN Youth Strategy, specifically its first priority: “Engagement, participation and advocacy to amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world”.

Around 400 young people from 70 countries participated in the competition, a large increase from the first edition in 2019, which had 130 participants from 40 countries. After reviewing all the submissions, UNOOSA and SGCA selected eight finalists and three winners, whose essays will be published on the Space4Youth competition webpage on the UNOOSA website.

The three winners selected from the eight finalists are:

  • Ms. Paola Ivanova, from Mexico, 28 years old: her essay focuses on how space technology can support biodiversity conservation in Mexico.
  • Mr. Satrio Wicaksono, from Indonesia, 31 years old: his essay focuses on using satellites to address deforestation in Indonesia.
  • Mr. Tsz Long So, from China, 22 years old: his essay focuses on how space applications can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in Hong Kong.

Thanks to the generous contribution of the U.S. Mission, winners will travel to the U.S. in 2021 to meet representatives of the space industry and attend Adult Space Camp, organized by the University of Alabama, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Winners will also have the chance to visit the Smithsonian Institute and other space facilities in Washington D.C.

UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: “Through the Space4Youth competition, UNOOSA is leveraging the potential of young people worldwide to gather ideas on how to seize the opportunities provided by space to tackle what the United Nations Secretary-General called ‘the defining challenge of our time’: climate change. I was impressed by the submissions received and I have no doubt these young people will leave their mark on the space sector in years to come. We will continue to provide a platform for young people to have their voices heard for the future, not only in the space field but in our society as a whole”.

SGAC Executive Director Davide Petrillo said: “SGAC is thrilled to continue the collaboration with UNOOSA on another excellent initiative that enables young people’s contributions as agents of change in the space sector. For the second edition of the Space4Youth competition, we have received an impressive number of applications, showing how the next generation wants to make a concrete contribution in tackling climate change challenges through space. We are proud to see the engagement of so many students and young professionals, we believe this is an important step forward in voicing the perspective of the next generation in the space sector around the world.”

U.S. Ambassador Jackie Wolcott said: “U.S. support for UNOOSA’s Space4Youth initiative reflects our desire to share the exciting history — and future — of U.S. achievements in outer space, many of which are made possible through close cooperation with our international and commercial partners.”

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