The final presentations by the shortlisted finalists competing to win up to £7,000 to bring their individual projects to fruition, were held at the offices of Hassans’ yesterday, Thursday 21st September.
Project Lead, Hassans’ Senior Associate Tania Rahmany opened the ceremony with a welcome address to the finalists and their guests, and introduction to the panel - Peter Montegriffo KC, Wayne Fortunato, representing Line Trust Corporation Limited, the trustee of the Hassans Environmental Trust, and Stephen Warr, the Enforcer of the Trust.
Caretaker Minster for the Environment, Prof John Cortes followed congratulating Hassans on the introduction of the Prize - for taking the lead within the private sector in encouraging and facilitating the delivery of important environmental projects, and praising the educational establishments and the students who work so hard on driving these projects to create a brighter, healthier, more sustainable future for Gibraltar.
First to present was Sarah-Jane Roberts representing the Gibraltar College, brilliantly delivering her team’s vision. The College aims to provide their Level 1 students with a field trip to La Granja Escuela in Los Barrios, to foster a love for nature, and to continue building their knowledge of environmental factors and sustainability measures through the creation of a plant centre within the College.
Dr Awantha Dissanayake of the School of Marine and Environmental Science at the University of Gibraltar followed with his team’s desire to undertake a one-year research project focussed on coral restoration within Gibraltar waters. The project will engage the whole community in being able to monitor, both via dives and via digital technology, the status of Astroides calycularis, a specific species of coral found in Gibraltar waters and the replenishment of it. Specific tools will be installed, such as coral frames which will encourage growth and people will even be given the opportunity to “adopt-a-coral” so that they can support and enjoy seeing the growth of new marine life for themselves.
Bayside Comprehensive concluded the three 15-minute presentations with a team consisting of Caitlin Marsden, Louise Garcia, Monica Sarantos- Billups, and student representatives Abi Greenburg and Christopher George, to deliver their vision to create a secret garden made from recycled materials, complete with fog nets to capture levanter moisture as well as the production of metal creature structures for collecting recyclable waste, to be designed by the school’s Design & Technology Department.
Following Q&A sessions directed at each applicant, the judges took some time to deliberate all of the projects and decide upon the level of funding one or more projects should receive.
Peter Montegriffo KC explained the outcome:
“My fellow judges and I have found it extremely difficult to select between the three impressive projects; each one offering a valuable proposition covering a wide cross-section of Gibraltar’s community.
The funds available within the Trust would take us some way in fulfilling all three projects, but fell short of funding them in their entirety. However, Hassans’ Managing Partner, Javier Chincotta and COO, Mark Okes-Voysey, had also attended the presentations and agreed that all the projects merited funding in full. They agreed that Hassans would make up the shortfall in funds necessary to bring all three projects to fruition, thereby increasing the total prize money awarded to £16,000.”
Tania Rahmany concluded:
“We are thrilled that we were able to support all three projects in our inaugural Hassans’ Environment Prize. We are really grateful to Minister Cortes for his valuable time and his support, to the three judges for their insight and consideration, and to the applicants and finalists that so ably delivered their presentations. In particular, thank you to Avi and Christopher at Bayside School who very professionally conveyed their vision for their School, as well as all the Level 1 students at Gibraltar College (Jairon Avellano, Brayden Lee Barcelo, Caelyn Anne Byrne, Jayce William Davis, Lea De La Cruz, River Duarte, Louis Lima, Matthew Rodriguez, Ivan Russell, Naeesha Santos and Amira El Barraq who put together a wonderful video highlighting the impact of their project and what it will mean to them.”
Congratulations to all the winners, we look forward to staying in touch to learn how the projects are progressing and to see what other innovative plans you develop in future.”
Hassans would also like to thank Luke Gracia, Communications and Marketing Officer at University of Gibraltar who shared his photos of the ceremony with us and also GBC for their coverage of the event and interviews with the winners.
“We are thrilled that we were able to support all three projects in our inaugural Hassans’ Environment Prize" Tania Rahmany, Senior Asscociate, Hassans
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