Climate Justice Idea Competition 2023
As we approach the 28th Conference of Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the urgent call for a comprehensive climate action plan and the implementation of the Loss and Damage Agreement, initiated in COP27, is at the forefront of discussions. This agreement aims to compensate people in the south and developing countries, such as Bangladesh, who are experiencing loss and damage as a result of climate-induced disasters.
The significance of Bangladesh's role in the upcoming conference, being one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, underscores the immense potential of the nation's youth as a formidable force driving climate actions. Their passion, determination, and innovative thinking can contribute significantly to addressing climate change and fostering a more sustainable and just future for their nation and the planet. In this context, ActionAid Bangladesh and The Daily Star took a proactive step to promote climate justice by organizing the "Climate Justice Idea Competition Season 2," showcasing the innovative ideas of young minds.
Through a nationwide online call for applications, a staggering 188 submissions were received, highlighting the enthusiasm of the country's young environmental enthusiasts. From this pool, nine exceptional groups were selected, each demonstrating ingenious, solution-oriented ideas falling under three categories: circular economy, energy transition, and water rights.
To prepare these young innovators for the grand finale, a dedicated grooming session was conducted, where experts from relevant fields acted as mentors, nurturing the potential of each team's proposal. The culminating event took place at The Daily Star Center on the 17th of July 2023, graced by esteemed guests including Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, and Mahfuz Anam, Editor of The Daily Star.
With creativity, feasibility, and actionable plans as the guiding criteria, a distinguished panel of judges had the challenging task of evaluating the presentations. Eventually, three exceptional winners emerged, one from each category, promising to make a positive impact on the journey towards climate justice.
As global environmental destruction intensifies, sustainability is vital. Bangladesh seeks innovative ideas, offering an $80 billion investment opportunity for climate action plans. The proactive engagement of the youth in addressing and finding solutions to climate problems is commendable.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP,
Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change
ActionAid values inspiring youth voices on climate justice. To make these ideas a reality, collective efforts and government support through the trust fund are essential. Let's scale up and make a difference together in pursuing climate justice.
Country Director, ActionAid Bangladesh
We must remember, there is no planet B. Earth is our only home where our lives exist. I want to congratulate all the participants here. This is more than just a competition; it's a heartfelt initiative.
Editor & Publisher, The Daily Star
Bitopi Das Chowdhury
Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing,
Standard Chartered Bangladesh
Chief Communications Officer, bKash
Special Correspondent, The Daily Prothom Alo
Manager- Young People, ActionAid Bangladesh
Sushmita S. Preetha
Editor, Editorial and Opinion, The Daily Star
Editor, SHOUT & Star Youth, The Daily Star
Senior reporter, The Daily Star
Manager, Interventions, Swisscontact
Research Officer, UNDP Bangladesh
Senior Programme Officer-Youth Mobilisation and Climate Action, ActionAid Bangladesh
Leadership Development Consultant
Coordinator-YouthNet for Climate Justice
Shah Rafayat Chowdhury
Co-Founder & President, Footsteps Bangladesh
Team Entourage - Shobuj Poysha
Team members: Rifah Rafia Orpa, Shoumen Barua, Ishrak Anan
A one-stop platform dedicated to promoting sustainable practices by incentivizing environment-friendly activities. Through a user-friendly mobile application, anyone can upload their eco-conscious actions, which a local team will review. Upon verification, participants will be rewarded with redeemable incentives such as discounts and coupons.
The platform's income will come from a variety of sources, including in-app affiliate sales, marketing, advertising, sponsored challenges, and data monetization. With a strong focus on social media, the team plans to partner with online marketplaces and sustainable businesses to encourage lasting behavioral changes and promote positive solutions.
Team FemCare- Napkin Disposal Machine
Team members: Rajesh Dhar, Kazi Md. Aldin Fardin, Nirvik Chakma
Aiming to address the challenges associated with menstrual pad waste, the disposal machines will recycle plastic and wood pulp from the disposed pads collected from the pad collector devices established in various locations, and convert them into raw materials, paper, or plastic objects.
Team Cleanify- Smart Waste Management
Team members: Utshob Sutradhar, Mahmud Iftekhar Asef, Md. Fahim Alam
An all-in-one smart waste management app enables QR-based waste disposal, large-scale collection, and selling household trash to local buyers. Users receive rewards for their actions. AI sorting categorizes waste, facilitating recycling in partner facilities.
Team AlphaPi- Nirjol
Team members: Irsa Farhad, Sumit Anthony Gomes, Sk.Md. Nazmus Sakib
The solar-powered hydrogel filter, utilizing Solar Absorber Gel, purifies contaminated water, offering a sustainable solution for clean water access. This life-changing technology aids marginalized communities in combating water-related challenges and encourages lasting positive impacts on water conservation efforts.
The team aims to foster empowerment and generate job opportunities in marginalized communities using a micro-franchising business model. They intend to initiate a one-year pilot study, supported by funding, to gather valuable data for refining both the product and business model.
Team H2O Innovators- Salt Away
Team members: Mainul Islam Labib, Md Rashed Jaowad Khan, Muhammad Zarif
A cost-effective, natural water desalinator utilizing "moss" to support coastal communities in Bangladesh. This energy-independent solution achieves 99% WHO-approved desalination levels, with minimal maintenance needs. Its goal is to advance sustainable technology and deliver safe, scalable drinking water solutions.
Team Durjoy DSS- Safe
Team members: MD. Nabil Hassan, Abdulla Al Shohan, Ahmed Raiyan
Sunlight-powered and utilizing an activated carbon membrane from Rice Husk waste, this eco-friendly water filtration system efficiently purifies water, removing harmful particles and improving salinity odor. It offers an affordable and sustainable solution for clean water access.
Team SolarXen- Solar Home System
Team members: Iftekher Ebne Mohammad Jalal, Md Jubair Zidan, Joyonta Das Joy
The model enhances energy infrastructure reliability and resilience by integrating residential users with the grid, overcoming limitations of existing net metering. It financially incentivizes solar panel usage, bringing energy justice to underserved communities and fostering energy independence.
The team's primary objective is to install a minimum of 200 solar home systems in the Raozan upazila by 2024. To achieve this, they will collaborate with local regulatory authorities to ensure adherence to regulations and standards. Additionally, they will explore funding opportunities from the government and renewable energy programs to support their initiative.
Team Pioneers- From waste to watts
Team members: Tausif Reza, Anika Tahasin, Soumik Das
Using water hyacinth, cow dung, and tap water, the project aims to produce biogas. Once cleansed of pollutants, this biogas fuels a gas turbine for electricity generation. With zero greenhouse gas emissions, the process is environmentally friendly and carbon neutral.
Team Cerevisiae: 4G Biofuel
Team members: Dristy Halder, Nova Aktar, Abdur Rahman Samir
With specially designed microbes, this advanced technology converts food and industrial waste into renewable energy. Direct utilization of waste sugars and secreted enzymes increases yields while reducing carbon emissions, offering an eco-friendly alternative to conventional fuels.