Farming for Biodiversity winners announced

Yuda Prawira (left) and Wolfgang Baum: Fairventures Worldwide; Photo: ©Rare

Yuda Prawira (left) and Wolfgang Baum: Fairventures Worldwide; Photo: ©Rare

During the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention of Parties (COP23) in Bonn, the global Solution Search contest named Nepal’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Center as the Judges’ Choice winner and Ethiopia’s Apis Agribusiness as the People’s Choice winner. The winners were chosen from more than 300 submissions that showcase leading approaches to make farming friendlier to people and the planet. In addition to the two grand prizewinners who each receive 30,000 US-Dollars to scale up and replicate their models, an additional four organizations were awarded 15,000 US-Dollars. Fundación Ecotop from Bolivia for their specific excellence in the category “Biodiversity Impact”; Desarrollo Alternativo e Investigación A.C. from Mexico in “Food Security & Nutrition Impact”; The Mountain Institute from Peru in the category “Water Impact” and the German NGO Fairventures Worldwide for its commitment in Indonesia in the category “Community & Social Impact”.

Fairventures Worldwide is working to combat the environmental and economic impact of deforestation by helping farmers introduce a better land-use system focused on improving soil quality. They intend to produce fast-growing timber to generate income, grow fruits and vegetables to improve nutrition, and decrease fertilizer runoff to safeguard water sources. This project, “Rehabilitation of degraded lands with native tree species (Paraserianthes falcataria) in Kalimantan, Indonesia”, is funded by the Federal Ministry for Environment (BMUB) as part of its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Solution Search finalists visit a local organic farm to engage in a cross-border dialogue on best practices and learn from one another; Photo: ©Rare

Solution Search, a global contest designed to identify, reward and spotlight innovative approaches to conservation, focused this year’s competition on finding the most innovative solutions that make farming more sustainable and promote behaviors that increase biodiversity across the agricultural sector. The two winning organizations joined eight other finalists in Bonn, Germany, for a two-day workshop where leaders mapped strategies to scale up and replicate their ideas across the world.

The Solution Search contest is part of a larger initiative funded by the IKI. For the last three years, Rare, IFOAM - Organics International, and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat have been working together to identify these promising approaches. Winners will host capacity-building workshops across the globe to spread their effective solutions. This workshop series, known as Campaigning for Conservation, will further empower local practitioners to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and to conduct social marketing campaigns promoting behavior change in support of the identified solutions. All entries to this contest will become part of a larger network of stakeholders engaged in supporting biodiversity-friendly agriculture.