This prize is for individuals, communities, aspiring businesses or newly formed groups and organisations to help establish a strong foundation from which to grow.
Knowledge sharing, training and strategy development are ways in which we would hope for this money to be used. We are also open to other suggestions if they will help make an idea a reality.
In 2021 there are four prize winners, sharing a prize fund of £40,000.
Below are the winners and other short-listed projects.
Fundación Cuidemos Paraísos is an organization, made up of young people determined to work in balance with nature, that strives to actively collaborate in the recovery of native forests, by raising awareness of the intrinsic natural and cultural wisdom of a territory.
Of all the reforestation projects that exist, only 30% are successful. This is one of the problems that it seeks to solve innovatively and creatively.
Committed to interdisciplinary collaboration for the ecosystem regeneration of the earth, the Foundation proposes to integrate ecological, educational, research projects, and create an innovative Method of Regeneration of Native Forests, which helps to activate and strengthen new points of biodiversity.
Their vision is to create new resilient and prosperous Hotspots (Green Spots), and join forces with other projects to protect the world’s Native Forests, along with native communities. All this through the development of its Green Spot project: Regener-Active Global Culture, which consists of four stages:
1. Philosophical and conceptual construction of the Green Spot Eco-social Movement.
2. Creation of the Green Spot Regeneration Method.
3. Creation of the Green Spot Didactic Manual.
4. Creation Digital Platform – Global mapping of Green Spots
They envision the creation of a Global Network of Green Spots: a strong and resilient movement that supports the interconnection of Hot Spots with Green Spots (new biodiversity hotspots) through globally connected biological corridors.
PermaQueer focusses on community resilience in alignment with environmental resilience. Established in March 2020 as Covid hit Naarm, Australia, founders Toad and Guy realised the resilience in their Permaculture transition home and noticed Lgbtqia & Bipoc friends in contemporary living arrangements suffering. They realised the power of being embedded in food networks, and systems based in community bartering and economy and social welfare.
PermaQueer started online introductions to Permaculture for friends, which spread amongst the queer community like wildfire. They offer free and pay-as-you-feel courses teaching ecological foundations, permaculture, social justice, decolonisation, trauma & neurodivergent informed systems based on building community resilience globally. Additionally, they held a 3 day TEDx symposium.
Their community education unpacks systems of consumerism, white supremacy and colonial binaries to restructure communal systems of resilience. They are collaborating on a decolonising and re-indigenizing cell for the global permaculture movement with @LiberationPermaculture. PermaQueer are currently working with international partners to develop fair and resilient ecologically-informed ways of relating. They hope to manifest these systems into co-housing villages, food systems, cultural capacity training and regenerative restoration programs.
Sachawaysa, Ecuador is in a beautiful hilly location, where the Amazon forest meets the foothills of the Andes at 900 meters elevation. The community has self-organized to work honestly, proactively, and transparently to regenerate Kichwa culture, and forests, which were almost destroyed by the Spanish settlement in the region which brought hostile attitudes and actions towards Kichwa people, their customs and regional rainforests.
Sacha Kuyrana Maltakuna – Young Kichwa Defenders of the Forest plan to buy a one hectare property, build a simple office with local materials, and map, design, and plant an ancestral home garden with dozens of fruit, nut, palm, medicinal, and hardwoods, including traditional species which help to improve soils, and short cycle plants and fungi, such as edible mushrooms collected from the forest. They will develop an online Kichwa vegetarian recipe book, full of traditional foods and recipes, to share with young people in the region.
Young people will organise and participate in projects, and will ask the grandparents (elders) for advice on values, on projects and how to successfully extend their work to benefit surrounding communities.
Over the last four years the Mount Oku Community in the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon has experienced serious socioeconomic hardship due to the escalation of an armed civil conflict and more recently COVID-19. The community previously depended on farming, ecotourism and other activities, but due to the crisis many activities in the community mostly run by men – such as forest regeneration and bee planting – have come to a standstill.
The Mount Oku Centre for Gender and Socioeconomic Empowerment (MOCGSE) was initiated by women to empower women and girls so as to ensure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Oku community, by leveraging their knowledge and skills.
The centre will serve as a platform to market food and household items locally produced by women, as well as for self-help microfinance services. Key activities will involve training and community investment activities such as bee farming, forest regeneration and medicinal plant processing. In five years it will become a registered women’s cooperative.
ARD Agriculture and Research Development is an agricultural company dedicated to promoting Regenerative Agriculture and Ecological Awareness in Jordan, founded in 2020.
The project began with the design of a profitable model of Regenerative Agriculture Farming in the farm so it stands as a model in Jordan. In addition, they established a centre to host activities (workshops, training and residencies) to involve the community. The site provides accommodation, tools and equipment, and they want to collaborate with locals, universities, research institutes and cultural centres and promote cross-sector cooperation to stand as an incubation hub for local green projects.
ARD wants to collect the data along the way and build a platform for research and development in the field of Regenerative Agriculture and Ecology in both English and Arabic to promote its practice in Jordan and the region. In 5 years they see ARD becoming a physical hub for learning regenerative practices in the Region and a prolific online platform.
Amatlán de Quetzalcóatl, Tepoztlán, Mexico, is an indigenous town with an important tradition of corn planting and milpa culture.
Conventional agricultural models and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides have led to soil erosion and decreased soil fertility. The rainfall regime is also changing.
Based on the economic and social consequences of the covid 19 pandemic, Biocenosis decided to propose a model of local resilience in the face of global crises through the collective work of regenerative agriculture.
Using successional agroforestry systems, five project members and three farmers from Tepoztlán began planting rainfed crops in order to create a sustainable productive model adapted to the local context.
With this initiative, we hope to demonstrate the social, ecological and economic viability of this type of project, train at least 100 people annually and help transform the reality of the farmers involved in the Cuauhnáhuac micro-region and bioregion.
Chikukwa Research Trust is a small and committed team of community researcher-practitioners (farmers). They plan to establish a climate resilience program, with agroecology to stabilise landscapes and livelihoods that is more firmly rooted in the restoration of bio-cultural diversity.
Chikukwa is a cultural society, and the oldest permaculture community in Zimbabwe. But much of this has been eroded through inward and outward migration, and the younger generation being disconnected from this rich history.
The Research Trust will document their connections to plants and place during collective experiences and storytelling, and share these during interactions with two schools, and at their open-sided thatch building.
By drawing on the memories of traditional leadership and elders for shared learning about ritual and resilience, they aim to foster a more accountable leadership that people can trust, which will also build resilience to division and external threats, including climate variability and change.
In the Beira Interior center region of Portugal – an area with much value from its geological heritage and closely connected with biodiversity and the local communities – the high level of environmental degradation is evident: abandoned tungsten mines and plans for new lithium ones; a disconnected society and departing youth; pines and eucalyptus monocultures; extreme forest fires; and deserted villages.
Starting from an urgent environmental pressure, EcoAtivo embraces all the dimensions of society, interacting with local, rural, and urban residents – especially youths and young adults.
EcoAtivo proposes a lifelong regenerative lifestyle programme focused on:
1. Regenerative Lifestyle training, including:
* Critical Thinking for abandoned and new mines and mineralized commodities
* Circular economy and the power of local currencies
* Theatre, cinema, and music for environmental advocacy.
2. Socio-environmental pilot actions, including:
* Holistic bat conservation in old mines and abandoned ruins
* Non-violent guerrilla gardening; seed bombs & hardwood cuttings combat
3. Networking between regenerative web-of-life projects, including:
* Conscious networks for exchanges of good practices and mutual support
* Co-creating a new narrative and collective awareness with cooperative actions.
MURAAL is based in the recognition that regeneration is defined from a positionality of ‘whiteness’, a system of thought and behaviour that arises from trauma and trauma adaptations emerging from the histories and behaviours of bodies that have perpetuated colonialism and its legacies.
Ideas of what is good in food, health, living and other objectifying indicators are not neutral, but connected to that history, associated with standards that have, over time conferred forms of ‘power and privilege’. It is identified by white-bodied Europeans, but is globalised and inhabits most bodies in the modern world, with all of us subject to it in ways that show up differently because of the impact of intersectional inequities. We carry complex histories of trauma.
The project will offer learning for each person to develop their own (and collective) practice of working through this, recognising that differently impacted bodies experience triggers in relation to their own unique entanglement in this collective history, and the localised characteristics of it.
Permayouth Kitgum is a community based organization which aims to empower the vulnerable and at risk youth in the post insurgent community of Kitgum, Northern Uganda through permaculture trainings and pro-activism.
The permaculture need tailored trainings and vulnerable communities empowerment project was borne out of the experience in a surging food insecurity, poverty stricken communities with degradability environment, soils and untapped youth potential to regeneratively repair, rebuild and transform itself while recovering from a two decade insurgence.
Through this project, Permayouth Kitgum organizes monthly full permaculture practical trainings for the at risk and vulnerable youths in the various communities and after the program, they are empowered with seeds and tools and other kits to venture into their self help initiatives and others join in the teaching apprenticeship program.
In the last one year, Permayouth Kitgum has trained over 300 youths in practical permaculture who together as a team implement various community building projects to tackle food insecurity, poverty , environmental and climate challenges. We trained households in kitchen gardening installed 150 kitchen gardens and planted over 500 fruit trees in our effort to eradicate food insecurities in the community.
Ramaviva is a permaculture system under development in Las Catalinas, Guaniguanico mountain range, Cuba. Starting as a permaculture demonstration system, the envisioned idea has evolved into a training and community development centre, following a process of exploration and familiarization with the site and its people over the years.
Ramaviva will help regenerate socio-ecological processes and create an economy based on good living, with solutions based in local context and developed through participatory processes, to the problems recognised by local residents.
The space is already a conservation and breeding site for an endangered native fish species, which was the basis of the local food supply. It is already a workstation for university students, and a space for continuous workshops on permaculture elements such as bio-construction for locals and guests. They have formed the necessary networks of collaboration and capacities to solidify the idea. In 5 years they see themselves already established as a centre that trains and educates within the community and throughout the country.
Because peatlands are the largest land-based carbon stores in the world, their degradation results in large amounts of carbon emissions (5% of global emissions caused by humans). But it is not just the carbon power that is so special about peatlands.
Youth-led collective RE-PEAT believe that peatlands should be a vital part of ecological and climate conversations. They also see that discussions about peatlands can create very novel viewpoints on other intersecting topics such as social justice, health, economics, language and history.
Their work, based across Europe, follows 3 major pathways: education, collaboration and re-imagination. Examples of how they do this include: developing a primary school education program to foster awareness from a young age, as a scalable pilot project starting in Ireland they hope to launch this in many more schools next year; collecting personal and artistic accounts of peatlands from across Europe in a EU Peat Anthology, prior to the Common Agricultural Policy decision by the EU Members of Parliament; hosting two 24hour global peat festivals that, combined, included over 80 online talks and sessions; creating a 10-part series of webinars focusing on UK peatlands to build momentum before COP26 and the WCSS22 in Glasgow.
Over the next 5 years they hope to build an international youth network for peatlands, push for bolder peatland policy, as well as work to amplify underrepresented voices.
Regen X sees the fastest and most effective way to halt and even reverse the planetary crisis as conservation and re-creation of wilderness through deep and local, ecological knowledge. They aim to build eco-systemic resilience through sustainable and regenerative communitarian economies on lands that are under the threat of concretization.
Regen X’s response is a framework centred on eco-architecture, service community-cooperatives, and ecosystem regeneration as an alternative and viable form of real estate development for privately owned lands within fragile ecosystems worldwide.
In their proposed model they prioritise leaving 40-60% of the land wild through alliances with Indigenous communities and ecological experts. In the remainder they will create human habitat combining vernacular architecture, nature-based infrastructure and technology to support self-sufficiency.
These living systems shall be owned collectively by local communities who have lived in the area for generations, and by outsiders that might join through complete and informed community consent. This stewardship-based model not only protects ecology: it rebuilds a sense of trust and ownership amongst traditional custodians.
The Marginalized Mirror will provide knowledge sharing around responsible investments in agriculture and food systems for the marginalized Ovazemba communities in Namibia to produce their own organic food through regenerative agriculture for resilience to climatic instability.
The current and future impact of COVID-19 on the Ovazemba Indigenous community, compounded by the harsh reality of Namibia’s nationwide economic crisis, restricted movements, and recurring droughts, is immeasurable. The community depends on the production of crops and livestock. The droughts have resulted in the loss of sources of dairy products and traditional crops normally planted during the rainy season. With the restricted movement of people due to COVID-19 regulations, pastoralists are unable to head livestock to neighboring countries with better rainfall like Angola for better grazing pastures.
The project will provide training on crop production under an irrigation system to produce food and fodder for human and livestock production and sell the surplus for income generation. They aim to support a community-based irrigation project managed by Indigenous Ovazemba community members who will run the project sustainably for themselves and future generations.
TTHANKS aims to convert South Korea’s arable land into farmland optimized for carbon sequestration and to address climate change.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has suggested that agriculture can capture more carbon, helping to overcome the climate crisis. TTHANKS’ team has practiced natural farming methods for four years, and visited natural farmers nationwide.
Their ‘CarbonCatching Weekend Farm’ campaign teaches the relationship between climate change and soil, making healthy compost, and designing garden-type farms to mix crops in symbiotic relations, with no-tillage and no weeding farming. Companies and organisations sponsor employees to participate alongside citizens, to experience farming and see the rewards for healthy crops. TTHANKS have also supported education and farming experiences for young people, who farm on weekends, as well as selling agricultural products from natural farmers. In 2021, their number of farms will grow to around 10 nationwide.