Kelp Blue is among this year’s finalists of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the United Arab Emirates’ pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, which carries a N$11,4-million (US$ 600 000) prize.
Lüderitz-based Kelp Blue is a Namibian start-up which contributes to the restoration of natural ocean wilderness and the mitigation of excess CO? by establishing large-scale giant kelp forests in deep waters.
The start-up is a finalist in the new climate action category, introduced to mark the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’ and the hosting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) UAE.
The winners will be announced at the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony on 1 December during COP28 UAE to be held from 30 November to 12 December.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize’s jury elected 33 finalists from 5 213 entries received across six categories: health, food, energy, water, climate action, and global high schools – a 15% increase in submissions compared to last year.
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology, the director general of the Zayed Sustainability Prize and COP28 president designate says the finalists exemplify remarkable ingenuity and unwavering commitment to shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for our planet.
“The Zayed Sustainability Prize carries forward the enduring legacy of the UAE’s visionary leader, Sheikh Zayed, whose commitment to sustainability and humanitarianism continues to inspire us.
“This legacy remains the guiding light of our nation’s aspirations, propelling us forward in our mission to uplift communities around the globe.
“Over the past 15 years, the prize has been a powerful force for positive change, transforming the lives of over 378 million people across 151 countries.
“We have incentivised solutions that are driving climate and economic progress in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions,” he says.
“This cycle, we received a record-breaking number of submissions from every continent.
The innovations put forth by the finalists reflect a profound dedication to inclusivity and an unyielding resolve to bridge critical gaps.
“These solutions directly align with the four pillars of the COP28 UAE agenda: fast-tracking a just and equitable energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives, and livelihoods, and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.
“The work of these sustainability pioneers will contribute practical solutions for climate progress that protect the planet, improve livelihoods, and save lives.”
Through the prize’s 106 winners to date, 11 million people have gained access to safe drinking water, 54 million homes have gained access to reliable energy, 3,5 million people have gained access to more nutritious food, and over 728 000 people have gained access to affordable healthcare.
“As global challenges continue to mount, our newest group of prize finalists reveals the extraordinary efforts being made worldwide to meet the needs of the moment with purpose and innovation – inspiring hope for a brighter future.
“Whether it’s restoring the ocean wilderness, using technology to ensure better, more sustainable farm yields, or driving change for individuals without access to affordable healthcare, these innovators are transforming our world,” Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the chair of the prize jury, says.
The Netherlands start-up was awarded a licence in 2021 to cultivate giant kelp off the coast of Namibia.
The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board was announced as first runner-up in the best foreign direct investment project category for the Kelp Blue investment project at this year’s annual investment meeting event in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in May.
– The Brief