Trust for Sustainable Living International Schools Essay Competition 156 views

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The Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) is inviting school children around the world to submit essays for the 2019 TSL International Schools Essay Competition, and for schools around the world to submit videos for TSL Schools Sustainability Challenge. The theme for the 2019 competitions is Life on Land, which is based on Sustainable Development Goal #15 – to conserve and sustainably manage life on land. Children should share their own experiences (good or bad, local or national) in order to help bring their essays alive and support a meaningful international dialogue. Students could either approach the topic by considering Life on Land broadly, or focus more on 1 aspect of the topic, e.g. managing forests sustainably or stopping biodiversity loss.

The essay competition is for primary and secondary school students, who are supported by Teacher Champions, parents and schools. To participate, schools must first register a Teacher Champion who will represent his/her school and support all the students’ essays.

The TSL Schools Sustainability Challenge is a video contest for schools, which recognises and rewards the sustainability action and leadership of schools around the world.

All students and Teacher Champions who participate in the essay competition are invited to attend the 2019 International Schools Debates in British Columbia, Canada, which will take place from 8 to 12 July 2019. The theme for the Debates is also Life on Land, and this 5-day event is hosted by the British Columbia government.


The Grand Prize winner of the TSL International Schools Essay Competition, together with his/her Teacher Champion and parent, wins a free trip to the TSL International Schools Debates & Awards. The 2019 debates will take place in Victoria and Vancouver, Canada, from 8 to 12 July 2019. Accommodation in up to 2 hotel rooms (1 for the winning student & parent/legal guardian and 1 for the Teacher Champion) will be provided. The Grand Prize winner will also receive an allowance to cover daily expenses, of up to £100 per day and £500 in total.

The writers of the top 10 essays in each school category (Primary or Secondary) will receive medals. All Finalists, Honourable Mentions and Debate Attendees will receive personalised certificates.

The winning school for the Schools Sustainability Challenge is awarded the Schools Sustainability Challenge Trophy, together with a cash prize of £500 or equivalent, which will be presented at the TSL International Schools Debates.


There are 2 categories for the TSL International Schools Essay Competition: Primary Schools (ages 7-11) and Secondary Schools (ages 11-17). Teacher Champions will represent the schools and submit all the children’s essays. The topic of the essay is “Young people are key to achieving SDG #15 (Life on Land)”. Primary school students have to submit an essay of maximum 400 words, whilst Secondary school students have to submit an essay of maximum 600 words.

The essays will be judged for originality and creativity, and the potential to contribute to a constructive international debate. Unique and well-argued perspectives will score highly.

All entries should be in English and each essay writer or video creator has to warrant that he/she personally created, wrote and produced his/her essay or video submission, except where otherwise quoted or credited in the essay or video.

Individuals under the age of 19 and those below the age of majority must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian to enter the competition.


All essays and videos have to be submitted by 20 December 2018.

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