Global projects vie for beyond sustainability prize

| 5th March 2019
More than 250 projects from 68 different countries applied for the 2019 Lush Spring Prize.

Climate Change was the most common issue being addressed, both in terms of preventing it but also adapting to and mitigating the effects that are already being felt by projects and their stakeholders.

A collaboration of indigenous groups fighting to save their Amazon environment, a grassroots project promoting community development through art and environmental education, and an organic food project supporting people with disabilities are among the entries shortlisted for the 2019 Lush Spring Prize.

Cosmetics company Lush and research and publishing co-operative Ethical Consumer established the Lush Spring Prize in 2017 to promote ‘regenerative’ projects – those that go beyond sustainability by taking holistic approaches to restoring degraded land and communities. It aims to inspire more individuals, groups and communities to start regenerative processes.

The judges noted interesting commons themes in this year’s entries. Climate Change was the most common issue being addressed, both in terms of preventing it but also adapting to and mitigating the effects that are already being felt by projects and their stakeholders.

Indigenous

Other issues addressed by entrants included ecosystem restoration, regenerative food production, building community, creating resilient housing and circular economies, whilst also supporting displaced people, protecting indigenous rights and access to land.

Examples from this year’s shortlist include:

Laboratorio Sicilia 2030. This project supports individuals and organisations in Sicily to regenerate and grow sustainably by uniting uncoordinated local initiatives under the aims of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Alianza Ceibo (Ceibo Alliance). Members from four indigenous nations in the western Amazon are together building a movement to prevent the destruction of their cultures and rainforest territories.

Winners

INUA (Instituto Nova União da Arte). A grassroots project based in the East Zone Favela of Sau Paulo, Brazil which promotes community development through art, culture, environmental education and generation of paid work. 

Karambi Group of People with Disabilities. This Ugandan group tackles the discrimination, isolation, and exclusion faced by people with disabilities. It has established a food forest, permaculture gardens and an irrigation system and now produces organic foods all year round. It also operates skill training and demonstration centres for primary school children.

Previous winners include the Malawi School Permaculture Clubs, which has used the prize money to expand its project. The full shortlist is available here. The winners will be announced on 22 May.

This Author

Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for the Ecologist. She can be found tweeting at @Cat_Early76.

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