07.11.2013

UN Announces 2013 SEED Award Winners

Energy from biomass in Uganda, solar lamps in India - these are just two of the 34 projects that won this year's SEED Awards. The winners were announced in Nairobi on 31 October 2013. The SEED Awards are presented every year to outstanding local start-up projects in the area of sustainable development for their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment.

10 of the 34 winners received the SEED Low Carbon Award, which is supported by the Federal Environment Ministry's International Climate Initiative (ICI) and reserved for businesses that are particularly innovative in climate action and adaptation to climate change. This year's SEED Low Carbon Awards went to projects in Colombia, India, Uganda and Vietnam. Among the winners is "Awamu Biomass Energy" from Uganda, a company that markets energy from biomass in rural areas, offering farmers an additional source of income. Another award was presented to the Indian network "Pollinate Energy", which sells cheap, solar-powered lamps in Indian cities and thus creates new jobs.

Advice and financial support

To select the award winners, an independent expert jury reviewed nearly 500 applications from 85 countries. The winners receive a support package from the SEED Initiative that is tailored to each company's individual needs. This includes access to other supporting institutions, technical advice and funding totalling 5000 US dollars. The awards were presented during a ceremony with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was held parallel to the SEED Symposium "Green Entrepreneurship: Local Solutions that Make a Difference", which took place in the context of the Global South-South Development Expo.

With the awards, the SEED Initiative wants to encourage young entrepreneurs to implement their plans for better environmental protection and development at local level and help them overcome start-up problems. The overall aim is to contribute to achieving the millennium development goals and implementing the Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Action Plan and the decisions adopted at the Rio+20 Conference.

For further information on the award winners and their business ideas, please go to the following website: www.seedinit.org

Partners of the SEED Initiative

The SEED Initiative was founded on the basis of a proposal by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU). Since the initiative was established the Environment Ministry has been joined by other funding partners: the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the US Department of State, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Environment Ministries of India and the UK, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, the European Commission, Conservation International and the South African Independent Development Trust. Since April 2013 the SEED Initiative has been based with Adelphi Research in Berlin.

The BMU will continue to support the SEED Initiative via the ICI. The ICI has funded climate and biodiversity projects in developing, newly industrialising and transition countries since 2008.