Essay competition

Dear reader

In view of the worldwide corona pandemic and the resulting measures and limitations, the board of the Dick de Zeeuw Foundation, in close consultation with the Earth Charter Initiative, has decided to postpone the essay competition for a year.

The theme of the essay competition – the search for solutions to the developing climate crisis in, for example, your country (or region within it), which do justice to people and nature – seems more topical than ever. Have you already started your entry for the competition? No problem! Let us know and we will find a solution.


The board

Background of the essay competition

The Dick de Zeeuw Foundation was established as a platform to bring together politicians, scientists, government officials and people from non-governmental organizations for a dialogue on topics related to sustainable development and the environment, and  to the importance of agriculture. The Foundation was founded in memory of the former politician and scientist Dick de Zeeuw, who died in 2009. After seven successful lectures (2011-2017), the Foundation wants to complete its activities in 2020 with an activity for students.

Climate change threatens our food production and the safety of our planet. The Dick de Zeeuw Foundation would like to encourage young people to act and make their voices heard. In collaboration with the Earth Charter Netherlands, it has therefore organized an essay competition.

Essay assignment

“Is a solution conceivable for the developing climate crisis, for example in your country (or region within your country), that does justice to both people and nature?”

Write an Essay of 3000 words maximum or make a Video of maximum 5 minutes in English (rules)


For the winning essay or video Earth Charter Nederland and the Dick De Zeeuw Foundation provide a prize of 1500 euro.

The jury consists of

  • Prof. Dr. Jan Pronk, former Dutch Minister in 4 different governments,
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Opschoor, member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences,
  • Ati de Zeeuw – Kroesbergen, Board member of the Dick de Zeeuw Foundation,
  • Alide Roerink, Earth Charter Nederland,
  • Annelies Pijnenburg, Sustainability Works
  • Reinoud Post, Consultant Environmental Assessment in Developing Countries


The jury will judge the essay on

  1. Creativity and originality.
  2. Practical feasibility
  3. Comprehensibility and logical structure.

Practical information

Deadline:           1 Mai 2020
Send your essay and a copy of your valid student card(s) as attachments with an email to or ; indicate by email to that you want to upload your video (add a copy of your valid student card[s] as attachment) : We will then send you an upload location.

If you have any questions, please contact us at