WEPCO Named as SEED AWARDS, “The Gender Equality Award 2011” by UNEP

Nairobi—From a company that transforms groundnut shells into fuel briquettes in Gambia, to an enterprise that has developed solar ovens in Burkino Faso, to an initiative that trains and employs street youth to collect waste materials in Ghana, which they then transform into handmade designer products, to a business in Kenya where women produce aloe-based skin care products, these are just some the 35 winners of the 2011 SEED Awards, theUnited Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today.

The community mobilization programme in Nepal (featured). The programme, which is run by a women’s environment committee and supported by a local municipality, is a waste collection and recycling initiative of over 1,000 households and businesses. (Photo: SEED Initiative)

And this year — in addition to the general SEED Awards and as part of SEED’s partnership with UN Women — a special Gender Equality Award was given to the “Solid Waste Management and Community Mobilization Program” in Nepal. The programme is a waste collection and recycling initiative of over 1,000 households and businesses and is run by a women’s environment preservation committeeand supported by a local municipality. Under the initiative, landfill waste is reduced via recycling and biogas plants are fueled by organic waste on which training is provided. A savings and credit cooperative has also been established to mobilize loans to 150 female members.

This Gender Equality Award is part of an initiative that will not only fulfill the general criteria of the Awards but in addition is women-led, or owned, and prioritizes gender equality or women’s empowerment as a core objective.

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet said: “UN Women is proud to join other UN partners and sponsor the first-ever SEED Gender Equality Award to lend a helping hand to women who drive sustainable development and the Green Economy. As we face rising disparities, mounting protests, faltering economies, and a changing climate, we must unleash the potential of women to contribute to the solutions our common humanity has to find. Sustainable development depends on economic and social equity, wise management of the environment and demands gender equality. UN Women supports women’s full and equal participation in decision-making and most especially at next year’s Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development.”

As last year, in addition to seeking innovative start-ups throughout the developing world, the 2011 SEED Awards have a special focus on Africa, placing particular emphasis on initiatives from Burkina Faso, Cameron, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. This focus is part of a larger project linked with UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, which is funded largely by the European Union’s Green Economy and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship in Africa.

The annual international SEED Awards, which is part of the SEED Initiative, recognise inspiring social and environmental entrepreneurs whose grassroots businesses in developing countries can help to meet sustainable development challenges.

The SEED Initiative — hosted at the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) — is a global partnership for action on the Green Economy. By helping entrepreneurs to scale-up their activities, the SEED Initiative aims to boost local economies, tackle poverty and improve livelihoods, while promoting the sustainable use of resources and ecosystems.

The Award winners will receive from SEED a package of individually-tailored support for their businesses, access to relevant expertise and technical assistance, and profiling at national and international level at conferences and through the SEED’s partners and associates.

All the SEED winners will be honoured at a high-level award ceremony in South Africa which will form part of the SEED Green Economy Symposium at the end of March 2012.

The 2011 call for proposals saw applications from 76 countries, representing the collaborative efforts of non-governmental organisations, women and youth groups, labour organisations, public authorities, international agencies and academia.

Most of the applications were in the agricultural and rural development sectors, as well as in energy and climate change, ecosystem management, and biodiversity. Many entries at the same time addressed micro-enterprise development, IT applications, and education and training.

The winners were selected by the independent SEED International Jury of experts.

The 2011 SEED Gender Equality Award Winner

Nepal

  • The “Solid Waste Management and Community Mobilization Program” is a waste collection and recycling initiative of over 1,000 households and businesses and is run by a women’s environment committee and supported by a local municipality. Under the initiative, landfill waste is reduced via recycling and biogas plants are fueled by organic waste on which training is provided. A savings and credit cooperative has also been established to mobilise loans to 150 female members.
You can know about the other winners of SEED Awards2011 by visiting the UNEP site or http://seedinit.org/


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