To celebrate the regenerative work of projects from around the world, the organisation Lush, set up the Lush Spring Prize.
People across the world are creating ways of living in tune with nature and their evironments. From people orientated projects to restoring ecosystems, there is plenty to be positive about.
The LUSH Spring Prize has awarded 11 projects from across the world either £10,000 or £25,000, to continue their work in regeneration.
The awards received 450 nominations and was brought down to 52 projects, which were then debated by a panel of 12 judges.
The nominated projects came under four categories:
Below are the winners of the awards and more about the projects work.
There were five winners in this section, each was awarded £10,000.
Compassos Institute in Brazil
The main aim of this project is to debate and improve situations for marginal youngsters and adults with special needs who cannot enter the labor market. Through their work, mainly focussing on biodynamic agriculture, they are improving the lives of these people, giving them work and confidence. Within their different spheres, Compassos Institute is always striving to find ways to minimise and prevent enviornmental damage in Brazil.
They hope to bring this project to the wider community such as families and schools, by offering practical experiences such as creating a collective vegetable garden, as well as student training and courses.
Campassos hope to replicate the project in neighbouring cities.
Regeneration Project in Grenada, Spain
This project only began in October 2016, and is already transforming lives. It began as a camp called, 'As if people matter' for refugees and migrants. It has grown into a collective of these people, locals and internationals, who are working to find new ways of responding to migration. Permaculture principles have been used to design the community as well as the surrounding landscape of the area they are staying and working in. The goal is to repopulate a village in Grenada through working the land and creating sustainable livelihoods for all those involved. This will regenerate both the ecosystem and the local economy.
The Soft Foot Alliance in Zimbabwe
The Soft Foot Alliance is dedicated to improving the lives and landscapes of people living on the boundary of Hwange national Park, Zimbabwe, while achieving a sustainable co-existence with wildlife.
Through permaculture design and holistic land management, this project is improving both people and landscapes. Local people have been taught how to 'co-herd' which uses holistic grazing and a predator proof mobile livestock stockade. This only works if cattle owners agree to move their cattle together, as one group, rather than in their own pockets as is common of the area. This method means grazing land is regenerated through the constant fertilisation from the cattle and the regular movement, and cattle are safe from predators such as lions due to the stockade. This reduces farmer's need to shoot lions, helping to keep a healthy and balanced ecosystem.
MontBio in Spain
Through the ancient tradition of making charcoal, MontBio are regenerating the Mediterranean ecosystems of Montnegre i El Corredor natural park, whilst reducing wildfire risks, building soil and locking up carbon. They recover 'waste' wood from forestry operations and turn it into a high value, carbon negative product, that creates a circular economy between mountain inhabitants.
Benna in Egypt
Through various projects, Benna are working with the youth of the MENA region in sustainability and food and agriculture. The projects are improving living standards of rural and poor communities, improving urban areas, architecture and rural communities, raising awareness to sustainable development and much more.
One participant of the project, who orginally spoke no English, became so engaged in the projects that he spent hours researching the topics as well as learning English, and ended up being the one who filled out the application form for the award.
Three projects were awarded £25,000 each.
Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) from Canada
This project is led by Indigenous people, inspiring them to fight for climate-justice and be drivers in finding climate solutions.
Indigenous knowledge is essential to mitigate climate change and ICA are working hard for this knowledge to be voiced when policies and strategies are being made.
Soils, Food and Healthy Communities in Malawi
This non-profit organisation work to support farmers in building healthy, equitable and resilient communities. Using indigenous knowledge, democratic processes and farmer-led research, the organisation are addressing inqualities in households, communities and on a national level.
The farmers experiment with agroforestry, legume diversification and animal manure, whcih have helped to improve nutrition, food security and soil management, regenerating people and land.
Mining Watch Romania
Fighting to protect the Romanian landscape from gold mining, this project works to organise civil society and local community actions to propose mining projects.
Currently, the Canadian mining company, Eldorado Gold, plan to open Romania's first open-pit gold mine, which would pollute rivers and damage the 180 hecatres of protected forests in Certej.
The mining project would also infringe on local population's fundamental rights to clean environment and water resource. Eldorado still require permits to advance the project, and so Mining Watch Romania need to build solid legal arguements and strategic actions to fight.
Three projects won in this category, each receiving £25,000.
The Timbaktu Collective in India
Working in a drought prone area in southern India, Timbaktu Collective work with over 20,000 marginalised families across 172 villages, to make the livelihoods, communities and landscapes more resilient.
Through regenerating wild landscapes, transforming farms to organic and traditional methods and empowering women, the project has been able to create sustainable livelihoods for people who were previously in debt, who were unemployed and couldn't find work and even those with disabilities who decided they no longer wanted to rely on government funds.
Twenty five years later, and the collective has many different projects under its wing, organic farmers, young female weavers (in this area it is traditional for men to weave) and locally made soap by those who can't usually work.
These projects often work together, with those more established able to provide loans for the new initiatives, creating an alternative banking system.
Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT)
Through demonstrating and practicing agroecological principles, SAT have brought together over 2000 small-scale farmers. Starting with one eager farmer who was prepared to learn and a small plot of land considered barren, regeneration techniques were used to create an abundant food heaven. Neighbouring farmers were intrigued and wanted to learn the same methods, and the first group was born.
Now with 72 groups across 52 villages, these farmers share their new found knowledge to help other communities become more resilient and build strong livelihoods.
This community builds SAT's Innovation Platform which makes the information accessible to a national community of over 50,000 farmers.
There was just winner of this category, with a prize of £25,000.
La Via Campesnia
A global project, fighting and protecting the rights of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers and landless people.
It is made up of 164 member organisations from 73 countries, and is a pluralist and multicultural movement. They defend peasant agriculture from corporate-driven agriculture and from land grabs. They are also working on a Peasant Rights Declaration which is currently in negotiation at the UN Human Rights Council.
For more on the Lush Spring Prize visit: http://springprize.org/