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The photo shows a Zoom webinar screen with the screens of debaters from different secondary schools across the globe.

Announcing the Secondary School Debate and Essay Competition Winners

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The Trust for Sustainable Living’s Partner Power Summit: PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY continues!  

Today, secondary school students debated the question, Is a sixth mass extinction inevitable? Representing different perspectives, “Yes, it is inevitable” and “No, it isn’t inevitable”, the students presented their arguments and questioned each other’s positions.

Watch the Secondary School Debates here

Many important ideas were shared, including improving sustainability education, encouraging individual and organisation-level action, and emphasising the responsibility of developed nations to shelp developing nations.

Today’s debates, moderated by our international ESD manager, Kirsty Shakespeare, were judged by the former Grand Prize winner Darren Tan, Nigerian biologist Saheed Opeyemi Adebisi and TSL trustees Penny Tomlinson and Travis Heneveld. After the debates, the judges discussed the arguments and ideas shared by the different debate teams and came to a decision. When they returned for the Award Ceremony, it was time to announce the secondary school category debate and essay competition winners.

This year’s essay competition focused on the question, How can we protect biodiversity and prevent the sixth mass extinction?  We received over 1,300 essays from across the world, and are glad to be able to announce that the winner of our secondary school category and overall Grand Prize essay winner is Sam Walker, age 15, from South Africa, with “Two Possibilities of 2050”.

Read this year’s Grand Prize/Top 5 Secondary essay entries and Top 5 Primary essay entries!

We were also excited to be able to share the winning teams for the secondary school debates! From Group A, team CON 2 are the winners! Congratulations to Vinisha Umashankar, Ebeny Williamson, Hasna Lutfiah Azis, Asset Yermukhanbet, and Tinomudaishe Gozhora! From Group B, team PRO 4 are the winners! Congratulations to Eleana Mexi, Vanessa Yip, Ysabella Therese Perez, Mitja Dobovisek, Adewale D. Adeyemi, and Joaline Johan Prince!  

Congratulations are also in order to our best individuals, Vinisha Umashankar from Group A, and Dhivyakrishnan Thriyampakan from Group B for their overall performance! Our judges provided additional commendations to Sapna Pramjee, Daniel Trencheski, and Tinomudaishe Gozhora from Group A, and Vanessa Yip, Joaline Johan Prince, and Isabela Ramirez from Group B, for their efforts and arguments during the debates. 

Furthermore, we would like to take the time to congratulate our essay competition runners up in the secondary school category for their excellent entries: Sapna Pramjee from South Africa, Ysabella Therese Perez from the Phillipines, Sofija Zoroja from Serbia, Stephanie Ranee Leano from the Phillipines, Anastasia Hadnadj from Serbia, Vanessa Yip from the UK, Adewale  D. Adeyemi from Nigeria, Carolina Areias Coelho Martinho Pereira from Portugal, Hasna Lutfiah Azis from Indonesia, Joaline Johan Raj from UAE, Yasumi Sapphire Villareal and Joshua Alvarado Medez from the Phillipines, and Khaliunaa Batjargal from Mongolia. 

Tomorrow, the Summit continues… Day 3 will feature workshops by Compass Education and a panel discussion on biodiversity and youth, with our guests: Sam Walker Essay Competition Grand Prize Winner, Megan Quinn IUCN Youth Summit representative, and Vijo Varghese OurLand Nature Reserve founder. 

If you would like to find out more about this year’s Partner Power Summit on PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY and the activities coming up for the rest of the week, see: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tsl-intl-schools-debates-partner-power-summit-protecting-biodiversity-tickets-142674520331 

You can get involved on social media too! Share your thoughts and opinions with #TSLBiodiversity2021 

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