Indian NGO Foundation for Ecological Security wins U.N Convention to Combat Desertification Award
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced the winners of the 2013 Land for Life Award with a USD 100,000 cash award, to shine the spotlight on organizations that show tangible evidence in combating desertification, land degradation and drought. The announcement was made as part of the worldwide celebrations of the World Day to Combat Desertification.
Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a non-governmental organization in India, which
was ranked top of the 137 applicants from 62 countries, won the first prize award of USD 40,000.The jury for the Land for Life Award is independent with experts drawn from the field of sustainable land management. It includes personalities like Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF, Dr. Vandana Shiva, a renowned environmental activist from India, Dr. Dennis Garrity, former executive director of World Agroforestry Center and Dr. Mary Seely from the Desert Research Foundation in Namibia, among other respected experts from academia, government, and civil society.
FES presently works with 5323 village institutions in 28 districts across eight states, and assists the village communities in protecting the 4,75,521 hectares of revenue wastelands, degraded forest lands and Panchayat grazing lands (Charagah lands). FES supports Panchayats and their subcommittees, Village Forest Committees, Gramya Jungle Committees, Water Users Associations and Watershed Committees in order to improve the governance of natural resources.
The second place was a tie between Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMSS) from Mexico for its work in the Amanalco Valle Bravo Basin in central Mexico and World Vision Australia for popularizing Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration in the Sahel region in Africa.