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Great Links

Page history last edited by Rosemary 10 years, 5 months ago

You can find many more inspiring stories of achievement on these websites:


Alliance for Religions and Conservation

A secular body based in England that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programs, based on their own core teachings, beliefs, and practices. ARC helps religions link with key environmental organizations, creating powerful alliances between faith communities and conservation groups. ARC was founded in 1995 by HRH Prince Philip, and now works with 11 major faiths through the key traditions of each faith. Projects can be found here.


Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy

An annual competition to identify and reward organisations which have carried out truly excellent, practical, yet innovative schemes, demonstrating sustainable energy in action at a local level, including solar, wind, hydro, biomass, biogas, fuel-efficient stoves, and energy efficiency. Ashden also runs seminars to raise awareness of these technologies and to encourage others to follow. The Awards are transforming the prospects of sustainable energy through substantial cash prizes that help winners advance their work; actively publicizing the work of winners; and bringing winners together with key decision makers to help change thinking and policy among governments and non-governmental agencies. Ashden also carries out research into the potential of local sustainable energy to meet the world's energy needs and tackle climate change, including ways of overcoming barriers to its adoption.


Ashoka's Citizen Base Initiative Awards

CBI Competitions identify and invest in innovative ideas for developing a broad citizen base with resources to sustain operations and achieve paradigm-shifting social impact. Ashoka is the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs—men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. Since 1981, Ashoka has elected over 1,800 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in more than 60 countries.In an effort to provide more resources to the Ashoka community and systemically change the sector, Ashoka created the Citizen Base Initiative (CBI) in 1997. Working in tandem with other Ashoka programs, CBI helps build the infrastructure for a vibrant citizen sector, led by social entrepreneurs. See CBI success stories.


Biomimicry Institute

Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth. Like the viceroy butterfly imitating the monarch, we humans are imitating the best and brightest organisms in our habitat. We are learning, for instance, how to grow food like a prairie, build ceramics like an abalone, create color like a peacock, self-medicate like a chimp, compute like a cell, and run a business like a hickory forest. Founded by Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, the Institute promotes the transfer of ideas, designs, and strategies from biology to sustainable human systems design.


BRAC Research and Evaluation Division 

Since 1975, research and evaluation has been an inextricable part of BRAC's mission, providing an analytical basis for BRAC's programmatic decisions, allowing BRAC to learn from its mistakes, and helping BRAC to share the impact and lessons from its work with academics, NGOs, and development agencies around the world. Probably the largest NGO research division in the world, the Research and Evaluation Division (RED) undertakes many of its studies in cooperation with international research and academic institutions. RED conducts multidisciplinary studies on various development issues and subjects of national and global importance, including poverty alleviation, socioeconomic development, agriculture, nutrition, health, population, education, environment, gender, and related fields. RED emphasizes the importance of effectively sharing research findings broadly.


Bright Spots

A database of success stories on how individuals and communities are reversing natural resource degradation, enhancing food security for millions of people living in the poor south. The Bright Spots project is uncovering the keys to their successes, and finding ways to spread them more widely. The searchable database includes 305 projects, covering more than 11 million farmers and more than 31 million hectares.


Eco-Tipping Points Project

EcoTipping Points are levers for restoring sustainability to our imperiled environment – small actions that tip the balance from decline to restoration by tapping the inborn power of nature and human societies to heal themselves. Many environmental and social problems are so complex and overwhelming it’s hard to know where to begin. But pioneering communities around the world are showing what it takes to succeed.

As we assemble their stories, the scientific goal of the EcoTipping Points Project is to better understand what made them successful. The pragmatic goal is to help people identify "tipping point" levers right at home – concrete actions that they and their community can act upon. The EcoTipping Points Project is dedicated to making the stories and their lessons known through the media, workshops, and direct collaboration with community groups.


Encyclopedia of Sustainability

The Encyclopedia of Sustainability is an initiative of the independent Dutch organization, Both ENDS, which identifies and documents a collection of innovative, people-oriented environmental initiatives worldwide that highlight concrete alternatives in the field of ecological restoration, food sovereignty, integrated river basin management, land rights & natural resources management, non-timber forest products, and urban sustainability. Both ENDS, created in 1986, supports the work of environmental organisations, primarily in the so-called South (developing countries) and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, making connections, between South and North, environment and development, and between different sectors of society. “We particularly support environmental initiatives, which - born locally - can have an impact globally. Viable alternatives capable of inspiring others rooted in local peoples' knowledge and managed bottom-up. Alternatives, which can compete with - or even emulate - mainstream projects.”


Equator Knowledge Zone

An interactive, map-based best practice database that provides information and resources on innovative community projects working at the interface of biodiversity and poverty reduction around the world. Equator Knowledge Zone allows searchable access to the complete network of nominations for UNDP's Equator Prize and highlights the remarkable work being undertaken by communities to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Best practices are drawn from more than 80 nations and virtually all global ecosystem types.


Goldman Environmental Prize

Created in 1990 by San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard N. and Rhoda H. Goldman, the Prize is awarded annually to honour grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America - individuals who make sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives an award of $150,000, the largest award in the world for grassroots environmentalists. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world. The work of Goldman Prize winners often focuses on protecting endangered ecosystems and species, combating destructive development projects, promoting sustainability, influencing environmental policies and striving for environmental justice.


Heroes of the Environment

For 2007, TIME/CNN's annual celebration of heroes spotlighted Heroes of the Environment: leaders and visionaries; activists; scientists and innovators; and moguls and entrepreneurs. Said Time: “We call the men and women on the following pages heroes, but they could just as easily be called speakers for the planet, a planet that is hanging, as one of them put it years ago, in the balance.” From Kenya to Korea, Britain to Brazil, Canada to China, they have “given the earth a voice”, TIME said in the introduction to their profiles.


Prince Claus Awards

The Prince Claus Awards have been presented annually since 1997 to artists, thinkers and cultural organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Prince Claus Fund, created in 1996, has become a platform for intercultural exchange, reflecting a contemporary approach to the themes of culture and development. The Fund has developed four themes of Culture and Development: zones of silence; creating spaces of freedom; beauty in context; and living together. These four themes, reflected in all of the Fund's activities, emphasize the relations between culture and development. Its Awards program celebrates artists, cultural groups and organisations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.


Right Livelihood Awards

The Right Livelihood Award, established in 1980 to honour and support those "offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today", has become widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' and there are now 128 Laureates from 56 countries. Presented annually in Stockholm, the Right Livelihood Award is usually shared by four Recipients. Widely recognized as the world's premier award for personal courage and social transformation, the award enables its Recipients to reach out to an international audience and to support their work financially. Unlike the Nobel Prizes, the Right Livelihood Award has no categories because it recognises that, in striving to meet the human challenges of today's world, the most inspiring and remarkable work often defies any standard classification. 


Rolex Awards

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were initiated in 1976 by the company’s former chairman in order to recognize the 50th anniversary of the company’s greatest technical achievement. The Awards are designed to recognize enterprise around the world, recognizing pioneering concepts and innovative thought, and giving winning applicants a prize that supports them in implementing creative projects. Presented every two years, the Awards support people whose projects are outside the mainsteam and often do not have access to traditional funding sources. See the Laureates section for the stories of award winners.


Tech Museum Awards

The Tech Museum Awards is an international Awards program that honors innovators who are applying technology to benefit humanity. The Tech Awards program recognizes people all over the world are using technology to improve the human condition in five areas - education, equality, environment, health, and economic development. The Awards program was launched in November 2000, and the first Awards Gala was held in 2001. The Awards were inspired in part by the State of the Future report, published by the Millennium Project of the American Council of the United Nations University.


The St. Andrews Prize for the Environment

The prize is an initiative by the University of St Andrews in Scotland and the international integrated energy company, ConocoPhillips, launched in 1998, that attracts entries from all over the world. Winning ideas have included: an Indian proposal to train ‘barefoot engineers’ to install and maintain solar power equipment in remote Himalayan villages; encouraging North Vietnamese rice farmers to stop spraying harmful insecticides; and using song, dance and drama to make rural communities in Kenya more aware of environmental problems affecting Lake Victoria. Several winners and runners-up have secured funding for the projects as a result of their initial success at St Andrews: a South African project about environmental degradation caused by mining has now become a community-based rehabilitation project supported by local government and the mining industry, and a project to turn olive oil production waste into valuable by-products received grant aid from a Middle East bank. Submissions are assessed by a panel of eminent trustees representing science, industry and government with the award going to the project the Trustees consider displays the best combination of good science, economic realism and political acceptability.


UN Environment Program Sasakawa Awards

The $200,000 UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize is one of the most prestigious and valuable environmental awards in the world. The 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm recommended that such a prize be created. This prize, then known as the Pahlavi Prize, was first awarded in 1976. In 1982, the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation provided UNEP with an endowment of US$1 million to finance the Sasakawa International Environment Prize, which would be administered by UNEP. The UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize is awarded annually to “individuals who have made outstanding global contributions to the management and protection of the environment". The prize’s value was increased in 1990. For award winners, see here.


World Challenge Contest

Now in its fourth, World Challenge 2008, in association with Shell, is a global competition that seeks out projects and businesses that not only make a profit, but also put something back into the community. Organized by BBC World and Newsweek, in association with Shell, the contest is all about rewarding individuals or groups that make a difference through enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. The winner receives a US$20,000 award from Shell to benefit their project, while two runners-up each receive $10,000.  These 12 projects were finalists in the 2007 World Challenge contest.


World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child

The WCPRC awards the world’s children’s two unique prizes for outstanding contributions to the rights of the child; the World’s Childen’s Prize, which is awarded by the child jury; and the Global Friends’ Award, which is awarded by all the children who vote globally. The WCPRC and the Global Vote is not a competition. All three candidates receive prize money that they must use in their work for the rights of the child. In 2008, the total prize money is $150,000 USD. The World's Children's Honorary Award goes to the prize candidate(s) who does/do not receive either of the other two prizes. See all former laureates, since 2000, here.


WWSF Prize for Women's Creativity in Rural Life

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Women’s World Summit Foundation awards annual prizes for women’s creativity in rural life, honouring creative and courageous women and women's groups around the world for their contributions in improving the quality of life in rural communities, for protecting the environment, transmitting knowledge and standing up for human rights and peace. Between 1994, when WWSF was created, and 2007, it has awarded 331 prizes in more than 100 countries. Winners are profiled on the website and in a series of traveling exhibitions. World Rural Women’s Day is celebrated annually on October 15. In 2007, WWSF created the 0.7% Fund, which aims to develop an effective partnership with governments and civil society to help finance WWSF empowerment programs for rural women and children. Email WWSF.


World Food Prize 

The World Food Prize recognizes individuals who have worked to create a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people, in the range of fields involved in doing so. The Prize was created in 1986, as a result of the vision of 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman E. Borlaug. Since then, winners have come from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, Denmark, India, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States.


Inspirational Women

UNICEF invited children and young people from around the world to share their pictures of women they admire and tell the stories behind them. The heartwarming results can be found here.



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