UNEP Sasakawa Prize Winners 2006

Rodrigo Hernan Vivas Rosas
Calle 70 Norte 9_56
Telephone: (57) 282 49275, (57) 284 73216
Cell: (57) 3108337307
Fax: (57) 282 49275, (57) 284 73216
E-mail: rodriven@redlayc.net

Summary of Environmental Achievements

Environmentalist peasant leader with training in law, Masters student in sustainable development, dynamizer in Colombia of the REDLAYC Latin American and Caribbean network for food security and sustainable development (www.redlacy.net) and regional counselor of the Ecofondo corporation, and organization of national environmentalist organizations (www.ecofondo.org.co), leads CIPASLA (www.cipasla.org), a methodological model of interinstitutional cooperation with community participation for the integrated management of natural resources and for combating poverty in the Andean area of Colombia with the collaboration of 12 public institutions, non-governmental organizations, the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and rural communities in hill areas.

CIPASLA is active in seeking solutions, applying methods and instruments to improve the management of natural resources, sustainable rural development and combating poverty. It is postulating the 500 Mil cisternas (500,000 Tanks) project for Colombia as a water supply alternative in arid and semiarid rural areas, which consists in implementing the use of rainwater capture and storage systems for present and future supply to family agriculture, various uses within family dwellings, schools and colleges.

These tanks are of cylindrical construction with storage capacities of up to 12,0000 litres of water; in building them, use is made as support of modular metal blocks with movable steel plates which make it possible to reuse them for continuous construction of tanks in each community; the moulds have been designed to be easy to put together, dismantle and transport and this is a technology that is available to the national community for implementation and widespread distribution. The advantage of this type of tank is in terms of the time to carry out the work; construction time per tank is six hours and it can start storing water 72 hours later. This is a national project for training and social mobilization; a tank is a teaching instrument which unleashes other transformation, the technical criteria have been validate for years in similar communities, principally in Brazil, Mexico and Bolivia, with low implementation costs per family. It is a technology that can be adapted to diverse circumstances, principally in arid and semiarid areas; the Tanks programme breaks with the dependency/clientilism culture and will enable the same community to invest in the materials.