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Started in 2003, CEJUDHCAN secures indigenous land rights and promotes sustainable land management with communities on Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast. CEJUDHCAN was part of the team that led the process granting legal control of native lands to natives.
The Miskito communities have been frequently attacked by armed settlers, so many feel unsafe farming at a distance from their homes. CEJUDHCAN trains Miskito women in bio-intensive agriculture so they can farm safely in the smaller areas close to their homes. The agroecology training and materials provide critical food security allowing people to stay on their traditional lands while fighting for their land rights in national and international courts.
SOIL was formed in 2006 by a team of ecologists and human rights advocates to improve the lives of Haitians. By taking a holistic approach, SOIL’s work simultaneously revives damaged social and natural environments.
EkoLakay is SOIL’s growing household sanitation social business. Customers pay an affordable monthly user fee which covers waste collection and maintenance. All wastes from SOIL’s toilets are collected and safely transformed into compost.
Although SOIL’s implementation efforts are limited to Haiti, its ultimate goal is to prove that sanitation can produce resources, restore ecosystems, nurture solidarity, create dignified livelihoods, and build health and resilience.
Cyrenians Farm, based near Edinburgh, Scotland, uses organic and permaculture principles and was established in 1972 as a Community Care Farm working with homelessness in a different way.
They created “residential communities” where homeless people could come and live alongside others coming from more stable backgrounds. The mixing of peer support and a stable home offered people a real chance to find their feet, feel heard and to create a safe space to build their lives.
Today it still hosts a community of young people coming from a background of homelessness, but is also a successful income generating farm.
The Dalia Association was established in 2007 with the belief that Palestinians should control their own development. Palestinians receive one of the highest rates of international aid, leading to the deterioration of a strong civil society.
Dalia Association utilise the resources necessary to empower a vibrant, independent and accountable civil society acting at the grass-roots level, through community controlled grant making. It focuses on four dimensions that ensures holistic community development: environmental, cultural, social, and local economy. Communities are empowered by being able to control their own development by identifying the problems within their community and enacting their own solutions.
GrowPlace is a dynamic ecosystem of innovation and regeneration. It brings together researchers, educators, farmers, and growers based in Cloughjordan, Ireland, to collaborate in the development of an area for growing, citizen science, social farming, soil regeneration, agroecology and Permaculture.
The area is a living lab for learning and experimentation which demonstrates the systems and practices that restore the wellbeing of communities and soils. Through convivial events for the community and public courses GrowPlace enables social engagement with the living world. This is also a Citizen Science hub, with soil experiments and monitoring contributing to greater understanding of soils and a changing climate.
Habiba was initiated as a beach lodge in Sinai, Egypt in 1994. In response to political events and a serious financial crisis in South Sinai, the Habiba Organic Farm was started to provide the founder’s family and community with healthy food. Since then the farm has been collaborating with Bedouin people to convert their desert lands to green ‘havens’.
Habiba joined WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms/World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and enjoys facilitating the international collaboration that this brings. Habiba also established a community learning centre which focuses on building the capacity of women and youth to farm sustainably and become involved in local fair trade production.
ICRA, based in Karnataka, India, was founded in 1985 to examine and voice the cultural pre-requisite of developmental process and how it is alienating large sections of the population, often fuelling forms of identity politics and religious violence. In response to the globalisation of the 1990s, ICRA decided to focus on small farms in rain fed regions.
They utilise a participatory approach which ensures empowerment of a community’s own institutions. ICRA has evolved a suite of organic, cost-effective options for management of nutrients, pests and diseases which are designed to enhance whole farm productivity and address food and livelihood security thus demonstrating, ‘ecology is economics and economics is ecology’. ICRA combines field intervention with publication on farmers’ knowledge, training programs, action research, advocacy and campaign.
INSO was founded in 1991 to support Oaxacan communities with their social and ecological initiatives in Mexico. It is based on a principle of viewing nature and society as inseparable and works in a collaborative way which aims to be inclusive of all.
For the last decade INSO has been developing its Slow Water initiative which works to regenerate the natural and social fabric of the Central Valley´s Watershed. This involves a number of projects and activities including demonstrative permaculture programs, creek restoration, public education and the creation of Water Forum which allows for better collaboration between the communities, NGOs, research institutions, government and private sector.
OTEPIC is a community based project founded in the Rift Valley in Kenya in 2008. It aims to address the depletion of soil and water, climate change, lack of sufficient food and social injustice caused by years of intensive globalised agriculture. It does this through training communities in sustainable permaculture including crop diversification, water harvesting, soil, nutrition and renewables.
All training is free and farmers are given the opportunity to experiment so they can gain a true understanding of how nature works. OTEPIC has a particular focus on empowering women and youth and ensures that they are able to fully participate in training. OTEPIC has also created seed banks and are in the process of setting up a birth house, permaculture school and ecovillage.
Pennine Lancashire Community Farm was created following the riots in Burnley, to use the medium of outdoor space to bring people together. Its central aims are to promote social cohesion, sustainability (of a community) and education.
It works across Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn in areas of high deprivation (the bottom 1% in the 2015 indices), across a number of community garden sites, forestry areas and farms. The farm has various programs working cross-culturally with members of the community, including with typically marginalised groups, to promote the use of nature, sustainability and local food production as a means for social regeneration.
Protect the Future, founded in 2000, has been a formative environmental NGO in Hungary. It functions as an incubator for projects which promote citizens’ participation in all levels and creative action on environmental issues, food sovereignty and small-scale energy initiatives. In 2013 it established the Transition Communities project which is now an active network of 30+ grass-roots community initiatives in Hungary.
ApPró Tech was set up to tackle fuel poverty and winter heating in rural, and mostly Roma, communities who use wood-fired systems. The project works collaboratively with the communities to help people build efficient masonry heaters for their homes with a process that also promotes social cohesion.
Salay Handmade manufactures handmade paper products and crafts made of indigenous materials. It was set up to address unemployment and poverty caused by the insurgency affecting the community of Salay in the Philippines. It has given opportunities to 150-400 disadvantaged producers to pursue a decent livelihood in paper making, crafting and card design.
Salay is now known for its art in paper making as a livelihood project and for fostering peace and international friendship. The project also serves as a promoter for local tourism, employment generation and is a major contributor to the vibrancy of the local economy as it trades globally but impacts locally.
SOL was founded in 1980 by agronomists and social workers with the mission to favour small farmer’s autonomy and the preservation of our environment. Since then, we have been committed in creating long term partnerships with local organisations and are currently active in France, India and Senegal.
For over ten years we have been working with Navdanya in India, an organisation who promotes an agriculture that respects the environment and the most marginalised rural populations. In partnership with Navdanya, SOL is currently developing two projects: “Small Farms International” and “Seeds of Hope”. They aim to empower deprived and marginalised farmers, especially women, in rural North India through trainings in agroecology, local seeds saving and biodiversity preservation.
The Inga Foundation has worked with farming communities in Honduras since 2012 to halt the practice of slash and burn agriculture through a sustainable, organic and low cost alternative: Inga alley-cropping. It has been extending the “Guama Model” to farmer groups and helps each family through the 2-3 year period of establishment.
Today, IF has a demo farm and is supporting around 240 families, in various stages of adopting the Guama Model. The families’ plots and the demo farm are becoming a model of sustainable rural livelihoods and the model is being written into the Honduran Government’s strategic wet zone plan.
Since 2002, Thydêwá has been working to promote intercultural dialogue between indigenous people and mainstream society and thus social regeneration for all. It seeks to regenerate intercultural relations through the production and dissemination of materials concerning indigenous cultures and the promotion of ‘intercultural encounters’ for sharing and dialogue. In this way it looks to reduce prejudice on both sides, and encourage the valorisation of cultural diversity in dialogue.
Given the close relationship between indigenous communities and the natural environment, Thydêwá also works to promote natural resource regeneration based on indigenous principles. Our ‘intercultural encounters’ seek to improve the wellbeing of all participants and that of the planet too.