Twelve Sustainable Development Partnerships Announced as Finalists for the 2005 SEED Awards
Third IUCN World Conservation Congress, Bangkok. The twelve finalists of the first biennial Seed Awards were announced tonight at a reception at the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress in Bangkok.The finalist partnerships were chosen for their outstanding potential to spur economic growth, promote social development and foster environmental stewardship at the local level.
The partnerships tackle a range of economic, environmental and social issues from malnutrition to water provision, conservation of medicinal plants to fishing stock depletion and are spread across the globe. What they have in common is their innovative and entrepreneurial approach - addressing challenges while creating jobs and improving livelihoods.
IUCN Director General Achim Steiner, speaking at a joint World Bank/IUCN reception, introduced the twelve finalist partnerships to an audience of several hundred including representatives from grassroots organizations, the private sector, and government ministers. Steiner stressed that "Conservation cannot succeed if pursued in isolation - it must go hand in hand with economic and social development. These outstanding Seed finalists demonstrate how partnerships can contribute to this integration."
The SEED Awards are an international competition to find promising nascent entrepreneurial partnerships. The inaugural Seed finalists were selected from a pool of over 260 entries from 66 countries and represent 1,200 organizations. They were chosen for their potential to advance sustainable development in their communities and contribute to international development goals. Finalists will receive individually-targeted support services designed to give their partnership every chance of success. As the first stage of this support, the finalists are currently engaged in a series of workshops and meetings at the Congress to build their capacities and broaden their networks. From the twelve finalists, five Seed Award winners will be selected early next year and announced during the 13th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in April 2005.
UNEP Executive Director, Dr. Klaus Töpfer, commented, “The twelve finalists and the hundreds of submissions to the Seed Awards only scratch the surface of the tremendous potential of entrepreneurial partnerships to contribute to sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals. The 1,200 organizations involved in the award submissions demonstrate the diversity of local level entrepreneurs that are eager to pool their energies, knowledge and resources.”
The Awards are only one aspect of the Seed Initiative's efforts to support environment and development entrepreneurship. The Seed partnership is composed of IUCN–The World Conservation Union, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) along with Partnerships Central and the Global Public Policy Institute. The Initiative works closely with and is supported by the governments of Germany, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States.
The SEED Award Finalists 2004/2005 are listed below with a short summary.
Allanblackia Seed, Nigeria
Improving livelihoods and fighting the loss of tropical forests by establishing a new plant oil industry using a novel non-timber forest product - the Allanblackia seed. Potential for expansion across the region, wherever the Allanblackia is indigenous.
Cows to Kilowatts, Nigeria
Installing a biogas plant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, produce affordable cooking gas and address waste management and water pollution caused by one of Nigeria's largest slaughterhouses. Potential for replication across Africa.
Joint Initiative for a Cleaner Mohammedia, Morocco
Building an environmental technology centre to reduce pollution levels in the city of Mohammedia, home to the country's largest refinery, and assist local enterprises in the acquisition of upgraded technology. The aim is to franchise the model across the world.
Madagascar's First Experimental Community-run Marine Protected Area, Madagascar
A partnership to demonstrate the economic, conservation and fisheries benefits of Madagascar's first community-run Marine Protected Area as a possible prototype for future MPAs around the world.
Vitango - Vitamin A from Mangoes, Kenya
Reducing vitamin A deficiency and generate income by increasing production and solar drying of mangoes, improved marketing mechanisms and agroforestry education in schools and communities.
Creating New Markets for Biologically Diverse, High-Yielding Indigenous Rice, Cambodia, Madagascar & Sri Lanka
A programme to market indigenous varieties of rice to improve incomes, conserve rice biodiversity and promote human and environmental health. Tremendous potential to spread across multiple rice-growing regions.
Environmental Certification Programme for Lead Battery Manufacturing, India
Establishing an environmental audit and certification programme for lead battery manufacturing facilities to reduce lead poisoning and encourage the adoption of voluntary emission standards.
Harvesting Seabuckthorn at the Top of the World, Nepal
Sustainable harvesting of wild seabuckthorn (highly nutritious and versatile berry), creation of seabuckthorn nurseries, and expansion of markets to safeguard knowledge of medicinal plants and biodiversity of Nepal.
Integrated Mangrove Restoration and Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture, Thailand
Establishing sustainable shrimp aquaculture to benefit local communities while protecting and restoring mangrove swamps.
Agua Para Todos/Water for all, Bolivia
A novel partnership model fully engaging the local population to provide access to low-cost potable water in peri-urban areas which could be replicated in similar circumstances worldwide.
The Maya Nut Programme, Nicaragua & Guatemala
Increasing knowledge, production, sales, and consumption of the highly nutritious Maya Nut to improve nutrition, food security and family health. Potential to spread across Central America.
Rising in the East, Jamaica
A training programme for unemployed rural youth that teaches techniques of sustainable organic farming and promotes small enterprise development, that could be replicated throughout Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.