American Univesity of Beirut

AUB’s IBDAA broadens its reach to become a nation-wide event

​​​Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications,

For the twelfth year in a row, the International Biodiversity Day at AUB (IBDAA) took place on April 27, giving students a unique platform to come up with original and viable solutions for current environmental concerns.   

Students from seven universities around Lebanon participated in conducting projects related to eco-entrepreneurship, marking this year as the first of many where AUB’s IBDAA will be held in collaboration with several universities in Lebanon. 

IBDAA is an annual poster forum and student competition, developed by the Nature Conservation Center (NCC) over the past decade. It represents an unconventional approach towards education by inviting professors to enroll their classes in the competition where students come up with innovative ideas focusing on biodiversity and environmentalism.

“Every year, IBDAA offers students an out-of-the-box teaching platform that allows them to apply the ideation and innovation process from beginning to end with emphasis on problem definition, research, and experimentation. In the process, students learn how to work in teams, how to cultivate and implement creative ideas and how to share their findings and designs,” said Dr. Najat Saliba, director of the NCC. “IBDAA is a unique academic conference solely dedicated to undergraduate students to discuss sustainable and green projects.”

The theme of this year’s event was “SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities,” based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.  

Saliba commented on this year’s event saying, “IBDAA has been successfully held at AUB for the past eleven years with mainly AUB undergraduate students.  This year, IBDAA2018 marked the beginning of a new era with seven participating universities.  IBDAA2018 allowed undergraduate students to recognize the need for new ideas to promote SDG11-Sustainable Cities and Communities.  We definitely look forward to making IBDAA an annual national event.”

Universities that participated in this year’s event included AUB, Lebanese American University, Notre Dame University–Louaize, The Lebanese International University, Haigazian University, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and Modern University for Business and Science.

Teams of 470 students presented their posters, within their chosen categories, to a respective group of 50 academic and non-academic jury members. Categories included: research; arts, design, and communications; business planning; intervention; and product conceptualization.

Each of the categories had a first prize and second prize. The first-prize winners received $2,000, and the second-prize winners received $1,000.  In addition, several participating teams in the product conceptualization category received incubation prizes. 

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