Global Disruptive Tech Challenge 2021:
Restoring Landscapes in the Aral Sea Region

Application deadline: 24 January 2021
Challenge day: February 2021

The Global Disruptive Tech Challenge 2021 aims to identify and support disruptive technologies and innovative approaches to landscape restoration in the Aral Sea region and Central Asia. The Challenge will select innovators (individuals or entities) from around the world to change the lives of millions of people in the Aral Sea region. Proposals obtaining the best scores will obtain recognition and awards, including a monetary award of up to US $4,000 and an invitation to participate in a 4-month Mentorship Program.

This is your opportunity to help change millions of lives, while showcasing your innovative idea before a global audience. Join the Challenge, get recognition from experts and international organizations, and become part of a restoration community

Why The Aral Sea Region?

The Aral Sea in Central Asia, once the world’s fourth-largest inland water body, has almost disappeared due to more than 30 years of overuse of its resources to grow water-intensive crops, such as cotton and rice. This dramatic change has led to a steep decline in the environmental, social, and economic well-being of the region.

The situation has been further impacted by global climate change, which is already affecting the livelihoods of more than four million people who live in the disaster zone. That covers a significant part of Uzbekistan and the southern part of Kazakhstan; in total, 40 million people live in the Aral Sea basin and might be affected further by the disaster there.

Moreover, salt from the Aral Sea is found far beyond this region, including in Scandinavia and Antarctica. Every year, winds carry some 150 million tons of salt – often toxic due to pesticides and fertilizers used in intensive farming – from the Aral Sea over hundreds of thousands kilometers.