World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland - 25 January 2007: Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), today announced the 10 finalists for one of five Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development (Seed) Awards.
The winners of the Seed Awards, an incentive scheme for local entrepreneurs to promote economic growth, social development and environmental protection will be announced at the forthcoming United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in May 2007. This announcement compliments a similar release made at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, today.
"As we meet in Davos and Nairobi to discuss scaling up sustainable solutions, the Seed Initiative is again offering inspiring examples of local level entrepreneurs in all parts of the world who are setting up new partnerships and using 'global/local' networks to address sustainable development challenges with a business case approach,” said Steiner.
The Seed Initiative is an international awards-based scheme and learning tool to encourage local entrepreneurs, communities, companies and others to join forces in partnerships for sustainable development. Partners in the Seed Initiative include the World Conservation Union (IUCN); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the governments of the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom; and private sector partner Swiss Re. The Seed Awards programme publicly recognises the contribution of innovative, entrepreneurial partnerships to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Finalists for the Seed Awards 2007 take a range of promising, locally-adapted approaches to sustainability, including the promotion of traditional medicine and community-based tourism and the production of alternative fuels. The countries represented by finalist initiatives are Brazil, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Kenya, Peru, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
Steiner underlined the importance of locally-driven, entrepreneurial partnerships in the fight against poverty, adding: “These connected entrepreneurs are planting seeds of hope. Their example and accumulative impact holds enormous promise."
Previous winners, acclaimed for their innovative solutions in improving both livelihoods of local communities and environmental protection, include:
(i) “Cows to Kilowatts,” which aims to provide more than 2,000 households with household energy at 50% of the standard price from the incineration of abattoir waste in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria;
(ii) The Global Partnership for SRI Rice, an environmentally friendly method of rice growing now employed by more than 400,000 small-scale farmers that reduces the amount of water, agrochemicals and seed required while increasing yield in more than 20 countries; and
(iii) “Agua para Todos – Water for All,” a Bolivian partnership that envisages providing 75,000 people with access to high-quality potable water at more than 50% less than the current cost over the next five years.
The announcement of the 2007 finalists follows a rigorous 10-month selection process that drew together more than 230 applications from more than 70 countries worldwide – representing close to 1,100 organisations from the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, women’s groups, labour, public authorities, UN agencies and others. The selection process to shortlist finalists involved an external selection team of ten international experts.
An international expert jury will now identify the five winning partnerships from the 10 finalists. The awards ceremony will be held during the high-level segment of the 15th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development in May (New York).
For further information, please contact: Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson on Tel: +254 20 623084, Mobile +254 733 632755, firstname.lastname@example.org or Robert Bisset, UNEP Spokesperson for Europe on Tel: +33-1-4437 7613, Mobile: +33 6 2272 5842; or François Rogers at the Seed Secretariat, Tel +41 22 999 0302), or see: www.seedinit.org.
THE 2007 SEED AWARDS FINALISTS IN BRIEF:
(i) Western Hemisphere:
Projeto Bagagem: Building a community-based tourism network in Brazil
Improves local communities’ livelihoods and promotes environmental protection through the creation of community-based tourism.
Handling and recovery of Andean tubers and cereals to improve food security
Introduces organic farming practices and reintroduces native species of Andean cereals and potatoes to diversify crops with the goal of empowering women and improving food security.
T’ikapapa: A new way to link Andean small-scale farmers with new urban markets
Markets indigenous potatoes to supermarkets to improve local farmers’ livelihoods and utilizes environmentally friendly technologies to conserve local biodiversity.
Protecting the Future by Preserving the Past
Improves livelihoods and provides health services by using traditional knowledge of plant extracts for therapeutic purposes.
Empowering the restoration of goods and services of Mt. Kenya Forests
Promotes conservation enterprises and the sustainable development of forest and mountain resources and improves livelihoods through a series of reforestation and development projects.
Tiwai Island Traditional Medicine Health and Fitness Village
Protects biodiversity and provides sustainable livelihoods for local communities through the construction and operation of an ecotourism health/fitness village, built around the principles of West African ethno-medicine, located in the southern part of the Barrie and Koya Chiefdom near the Tiwai Island’s Gola Forest.
Provides an alternative fuel source from wood waste, reducing dependency on forest products and opening a new market.
(iii) South Asia:
Promotion of Natural Dyes in the Textile Industries
Produces yarn and fabric in an energy-efficient and less polluting manner through the use of traditional natural dyes.
Cotton thread production from Girardinia diversifolia (Allo)
Produces cotton thread from a traditionally used local species for supply of national and international markets, involving local communities in the resource management.
(iv) East Asia:
Bridging the Gap: Bringing novel Vietnamese medicinal plant products to the international market
Develops a local business network, marketing high value-added products derived from the sustainable cultivation of traditional medicinal plants.
Further information on the 2007 Seed Award Finalists may be obtained from the Seed Initiative website on www.seedinit.org.