Press Releases

    For information only – not an official document

    3 June 2021

    UNOOSA and SGAC announce winners of 3rd edition of the Space4Youth competition on space for climate change mitigation and adaptation

    VIENNA, 3 June (United Nations Information Service) – Today the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) announced the winners of the third edition of the Space4Youth competition

    For this edition, young people from all over the world were asked to submit an essay on “Space as a tool to foster climate change mitigation and adaptation". Over 430 submissions from over 80 countries were received, more than ever before.  

    Many ideas were presented on how space can be used to tackle climate challenges and for mitigation and adaptation policies at local, national, regional and/or international levels. From those who submitted, three winners were selected:

    • Mahlak Abdullah, American, 21 years old. Title of essay: “Synthetic biology for climate change:  applying modified carbon dioxide consuming E. coli tested in space to carbon scrubbing technology in space and on earth”;
    • Karina Maria Berbert Bruno, Brazilian, 29 years old. Title of essay: “Space as a tool for mitigation of climate change: multiscale results with Earth Observation technologies in Cerrado biome”; and
    • Tejasvi Shivakumar, Indian, 23 years old. Title: “Earth Observation, Renewable Energy and Space Influencers as tools to foster climate adaptation and mitigation”.

    The winners' essays will be uploaded on UNOOSA Space4Youth webpage.

    Thanks to the generous contribution of the U.S. Mission to international organizations in Vienna, winners will travel to the United States to meet representatives of the space industry and attend Adult Space Camp at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

    The United Kingdom Space Agency is pleased to organize an event with UK and US experts who will provide further feedback to the winners and support them in developing their ideas further.

    UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: "Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, and, in order to confront it, we need to leverage the talent and innovative ideas of young people. Space is innovation by definition and it is essential that the next generation seizes the incredible opportunities offered by the space sector. UNOOSA is proud to continue elevating their voices and contributions through the Space4Youth initiative.”

    SGAC Executive Director Davide Petrillo said: "It’s through collaborations like that with UNOOSA that we will continue to inspire and learn from the next generation with the Space4Youth competition. This year we received the highest number of applications, showing how the next generation has a strong commitment to make a concrete contribution on climate mitigation and adaptation through space. We believe this is an important step forward to continue to provide in the future this platform to discuss key space issues and take back global insights."

    US Mission Chargé d'affaires Louis Bono said: “The United States is on the cusp of another ‘giant leap’ in terms of both peaceful exploration of outer space, with the Artemis Program to land the next man and first woman on the surface of the Moon, and with our efforts to address the global climate crisis and drive innovation in the green and blue economies.  Both of these efforts will require global engagement and cooperation with governments and private sector companies from all over the globe. The next generation of young leaders has a particularly important role to play, both for the ideas and enthusiasm they will contribute to these global efforts, and because of their important role as change agents and stakeholders in ensuring our efforts succeed.”

    Graham Turnock, Chief Executive at the UK Space Agency, said: “The UK is a leader in international efforts to understand and combat climate change and younger generations will play a vital role in this challenge. That's why the Space4Youth Competition is playing such an important role in educating and inspiring young people about how space can help.”

    * *** *

    For more information, please contact:

    Ottavia Pesce
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Telephone: (+43 699) 1459 8718
    Email: pesce[at]