Secondary Schools excel at the SAIIA Young Researchers Symposium 2016 Secondary School from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal was awarded first position for their research paper at the annual Young Researchers Symposium organised by the South African Institute of International Affairs.

The 2nd position was given to Spine Road High School from Pine Town in Cape Town while the 3rd position went to Randfontein High School from Krugersdorp. The event, held in Maropeng, Krugersdorp, brought together 9 teams from across the country to present research papers on various topics focusing on sustainable development.

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The teams presented their findings issues related to climate change, energy, disasters, food security, biodiversity, water, water and waste management, environmental governance, water and sanitation, gender as well as consumption and production.

saiia2UNIC Pretoria formed part of the adjudication panel which also included the Department of Environmental Affairs, City of Tshwane, Department of Water and Sanitation, Department of Environmental Affairs, University of the Witwatersrand, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian High Commission.

University of Witwatersrand, Professor Coleen Vogel, who led the adjudication team, said after the presentations: “I was impressed how these learners grappled with the complex issues researched and how they eloquently and convincingly presented their findings and gave recommendations and solutions in relation to Sustainable Development practices.” saiia1

Ms. Desiree Kosciulek, Youth Programmes Manager, SAIIA addressed and thanked all Young researchers, teachers and adjudicators for the successful event. She encouraged the young researchers to continue to pursue further research and positively engage in the quest for inclusive participation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.