Global Essay Competition 2021 | Prize: £900

The global Essay Competition 2021 bases its theme on the happenings in 2020. The competition is open to everyone and is free to submit. Total prize for up to six winners is £900.

In the year 2020 witnessed the Covid-19 global pandemic spread, as people across the globe faced devastating impacts both socially and economically.

To many, the pandemic feels like a force out of their control. Yet, an extensive look may perhaps reveal to us that our actions as a society has had a direct impact on the birth of these pandemics.

To mark the 2020 World Soil Day (Saturday the 5th of December), the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovations Office (CDIO) invites you to participate in their essay competition exploring the concept of ‘one health’ and examining the relationship between our treatment of the planet’s land and the increased likelihood of these pandemics.

Eligibility for the Global Essay Competition 2021

  • Participation in the essay competition is open to everyone and is FREE!
  • Participants should register through the form provided down the page.
  • Registration means an agreement to contest rules.

Topics for the Global Essay Competition 2021

The goal of this competition is to explore Covid-19, a topic of current and global importance, specifically, how our actions towards the planet’s land resources can play a role in dealing with and helping in preventing such pandemics from occurring in the future.

Submitted essays should explore inter alia:

  • The diagnosis (the objective reality): The nature of Covid-19 and its relation to our attitude to land.
  • The prescription and solution: What issues must be addressed for our improved relation to land. And what concrete actions we may take in these regards in preventing or minimizing the occurrence of these pandemics in the future?
  • Submissions must not include any endorsements of products or services, or any obscene, violent, racist, religious intolerance or defamatory content.
  • Incomplete entries or entries that do not comply with the formal specifications will be automatically disqualified.

Submission Guidelines for the Global Essay Competition 2021

  • All essays must be submitted through link in PDF format.
  • Each essay is allowed a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1500 words.
  • Essays can be submitted in English, French, Russian or Spanish.
  • All entries must be original works produced by the participant which have not been published anywhere.
  • The participants grant the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), its partners and other UN agencies as well as other persons or entities authorized by the UNCCD, a free of charge, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, worldwide license to use the copyright, related rights or any other intellectual property rights that have arisen by law or will arise by law from the submitted essays.
  • The UNCCD is entitled to publish the essays but has no obligation to do so.

Prizes for the Global Essay Competition 2021

All submitted essays for the global Essay competition 2021 will be assessed by the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovations Office (CDIO) which will determine the winners, to be awarded prizes as follows:

  • First place – 300 euros
  • Second place – 200 euros
  • Third place – 100 euros                                                 

Furthermore, special individual prizes will be awarded as listed below:

  • Winning essay submitted by land practitioners – 100 euros
  • Winning essay submitted by secondary school students (Age 14-18) – 100 euros
  • Winning essay submitted by primary school students (Age 13 and below) – 100 euros

For the purposes of this competition, a land practitioner is defined as someone who works in the field of agriculture, forestry, landscaping, rangeland or watershed management.

Winning the overall (first, second or third) prize is not mutually exclusive from winning any of the special individual prizes. What this means is that participants have the possibility of, for example, winning the first place 300-euro prize AND the winning essay prize for secondary school students if they qualify to participate as a secondary school student.

Please note that by claiming one of the individual special prizes, you agree to showing proof of identification when requested.

Selected winners will be featured in the work of the UNCCD-CDIO via its various media channels.

Lastly, all participants will be granted a certificate from the UNCCD for participation in the essay competition. Special certificates shall be given to all winners. UNCCD memorabilia will also be given depending on availability.

Assessment and Announcement of Results:

  • All essays will be assessed by the CDIO. All decisions made in this regard are FINAL and may not be contested.
  • The winners will be announced in the final week of February. The UNCCD reserves the right to change this date.
  • The prizes are as stated and are non‐transferable. If due to circumstances beyond the UNCCD’s control, the UNCCD is unable to provide a stated prize, the UNCCD reserves the right to award a substitute prize of equal value.
  • The winners will be notified by email within 7 (seven) working days of being selected.
  • The UNCCD will actively endeavor to contact the winners to make arrangements for the delivery of the prizes for a period of 1 (one) month following the announcement of the competition winners.
  • In the event that the UNCCD is unable to contact the winner in this notification period, the UNCCD reserves the right to reallocate the prize concerned.
  • Entrants shall note that by submitting an entry, they are deemed to have agreed that if picked as a winner their name may be disclosed to any third party, by the UNCCD, when providing a list of the names of the entrants where requested.

🔔 ATTENTION: There is at least ONE opportunity for everyone. Locate below:

How to Register for the Global Essay Competition 2021

Individuals who want to participate simply have to fill out a short survey and upload their essay through the Apply.

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DEADLINE: 24th Jan 2021 [See all deadlines]


Please note that by ticking either the ‘land practitioner’, ‘secondary school student’ or ‘primary school student’ box in question 6, you agree to showing proof of identification upon request.

If participants have any questions or comments or if they need assistance, they should send an email to the Capacity Building Marketplace team at jgreen@unccd.int.

Got a question? Drop it below