The brief for 2024 - “How can nature help us achieve the UN SDGs in my community?”
Nature provides us with everything we need to survive and thrive – clean air and water, food, materials for shelter, medicines and so much more. Many people believe that nature can help us tackle major global challenges such as climate change, food and water security, biodiversity loss and disaster risk reduction, as well as improving human health, societal wellbeing and developing sustainable economies.
We want to hear students’ own views on how they feel that nature can support the achievement of the SDGs in their own communities. Students are invited to approach the topic however they wish. They can choose to focus on one SDG, or multiple SDGs that they feel are a key issue within their communities and explore how nature could help to improve the situation. They are strongly encouraged to include their own personal views, perspectives and experiences to help bring their thoughts and visions alive.
The competition is open for students aged 7 to 18.
Each student is invited to submit one essay in English, on the theme of: “How can nature help us achieve the UN SDGs in my community?”
The essay length varies by age as follows:
- Primary students (ages 7-11): 400 words
- Secondary and College students (ages 12-18): 600 words
The judges are looking for originality and creativity in all formats – and the potential to contribute to constructive national or international debate. Unique and well-argued perspectives score highly.
All work should be original and the student’s own. A bibliography of references should be included where appropriate and will not be counted as part of the official word limit. Essays with plagiarised content will not be considered for an award.
If students choose to use AI to support them in their research, then it is important they do not use AI tools to generate an essay and submit it as if it was their own work. The use of generative AI must be acknowledged in the bibliography (as detailed below) where it has been used as a functional tool to assist in the process of creating essays.
Minimum requirement to include in bibliography:
- Name and version of the generative AI system used; e.g. ChatGPT-3.5
- Publisher (company that made the AI system); e.g. OpenAI
- URL of the AI system.
- Brief description (single sentence) of context in which the tool was used.
- The prompt(s) used to generate a response in the AI system.
For example: I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT 3.5 (Open AI, https://chat.openai.com) to summarise my initial notes and to proofread my final draft.
Click here for details on how to register and submit your essay entries.
Need inspiration?View our entry resources
08 September 2023
TSL 2024 Essay Competition Launch – NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS. Registration open for Teacher Champions/Schools to participate in TSL 2024 Essay Competition.
18 January 2024
Final deadline for essay entries.
14 March 2024
Announcement of International Essay Competition Finalists & Honourable Mentions on TSL websites.
18 April 2024
Top Ten Finalists from Primary and Secondary categories notified via Teacher Champion.
Invitations to participate in the International Student Debates sent to eligible students via their Teacher Champion.
14 March - 31 July 2024
International Schools Debate & Awards (online) Dates TBC.