Changing lives through sustainability
2009-10 Sasakawa Prize winners bring light and heat to communities in Latin America, Africa and India
Bali (Indonesia), 23 February 2010 - Two projects bringing green stoves and clean lighting to remote communities in Latin America, East Africa and India are the laureates of the 2009-10 UNEP Sasakawa Prize, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.
This year's winners are Nuru Design, a company bringing rechargeable lights to villages in Rwanda, Kenya and India; and Trees, Water and People (TWP), an organization that collaborates with local NGOs to distribute fuel-efficient cook stoves to communities in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Haiti.
The UNEP Sasakawa Prize, worth $200,000, is given out each year to sustainable and replicable grassroots projects around the planet. The winners will receive their prestigious Prize at an Award Ceremony in Bali attended by dozens of Environment Ministers during the 11th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council.
In a year that saw global leaders meet in Copenhagen for the crucial climate conference, the 2009 theme for the Prize is 'Green Solutions to Combat Climate Change'. The winners, who were selected by a panel of four people including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UN Messenger of Peace Wangari Maathai, will receive $100,000 each in order to expand and develop their grassroots projects.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General who chaired the Jury Panel, said: "Combating climate change is not just up to governments: it starts at the grassroots level, as communities tap into the power of renewables and sustainable technologies. Through pioneering green ovens and sustainable lighting, Nuru Design and Trees, Water and People are changing the lives of thousands of schoolchildren, housewives and villagers across Latin America, Africa and India. This is the Green Economy of tomorrow, in action today."