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Reed Elsevier Launches 2013 Environmental Challenge to Advance Access to Safe Water and Sanitation

ABU DHABI, January 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Call for proposals to advance scalable solutions to water and sanitation challenges in developing countries

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched today, calling for innovative proposals to ensure safe water and improved sanitation for at risk communities in developing countries. The winning projects will be announced later in the year. The first prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and the second prize winner will receive $25,000 in addition to a feature in Water Research, an official journal of the International Water Association. All shortlisted candidates will receive access to Reed Elsevier scientific online publications and databases.

The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge contributes to the Water for Life Decade (2005-2015), established by the UN General Assembly in support of the Millennium Development Goal to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water and stop the exploitation of water resources. According to the World Health Organisation, nearly 900m people in the world are without safe drinking water, while over 2.6bn people do not have improved sanitation facilities.  Poor access to safe water and sanitation contributes to health crises in many developing countries, and increasingly leads to violent conflict. 

Youngsuk ('YS') Chi, Chairman of Elsevier and Director of Corporate Affairs for Reed Elsevier, said: "As a global provider of information solutions, we publish more than 25 per cent of scientific literature in water research.  Through the Environmental Challenge, applicants gain access to these resources to further develop their ideas. Our aim is to identify and support individuals and organisations making real contributions to both water and sanitation quality, and providing access where there is great need. The Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge is an excellent example of how we collaborate with key partners, including scientific institutes, industry and NGOs, to advance knowledge in an area of critical importance to people and communities."

Applications for the Environmental Challenge will be accepted through 15 April 2013 and should focus on improving access to safe water and/or sanitation where it is presently at risk. Projects should be replicable, scalable and sustainable; set a benchmark for innovation; have practical applicability; address non-discrimination/equity of access; involve and impact a range of stakeholders; and have local/community-level engagement. Shortlisted candidates, announced by June, will be invited to develop their proposals further. Projects will be assessed by reviewers with water, sanitation and related expertise. Shortlisted projects will be considered by an international judging panel of experts in the field.  The Dutch Wash Alliance, a consortium of six Dutch NGOs promoting hygienic use of sustainable water and sanitation, will be lending assistance with the reviewing and judging process in 2013.

The 2013 Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge was launched at the first International Water Summit (IWS), which takes place from 15-17 January 2013 in Abu Dhabi. The IWS is a new global platform for promoting water sustainability and the water-energy nexus in arid regions. IWS brings together policymakers, scientists and business leaders to tackle the urgent challenges of wastewater and water access and security.

Notes to Editors
To learn more about The Environmental Challenge, please visit http://www.reedelsevier.com/corporateresponsibility/environmental-challenge and follow us on twitter @RE_EnvChallenge.  Visit the Reed Elsevier Environmental Challenge stand (3224) at the International Water Summit for additional information.

About Reed Elsevier

Reed Elsevier Group plc is a world leading provider of professional information solutions to the science, medical, legal, risk management, and business to business sectors. The group employs more than 30,000 people, including 16,000 in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV; the combined market capitalisation of the two parent companies is approximately £13bn/€16bn. Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

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