Prize Winning Conservation Projects

An AFISAP forest conservation initiative in Guatemala and a MDI-Nepal sustainable development project in Nepal have both won this year’s $200,000 Sasakawa Prize, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced.

Both projects fit in with UNEP’s theme “Forests for People, Forests for Green Growth” in support of the 2010-11 International Year of the Forests. Both groups fulfilled a majority of the theme’s criteria, such as:

Rainforest 4•  Promoting the conservation and sustainable management of forests;
•  Contributing to a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions caused by deforestation;
•  Maintaining forest ecosystems to improve resilience to climate change;
•  Supporting pro-poor development, especially among forest-dependent communities;
•  Conserving biodiversity and helping secure ecosystem services.

In particular, AFISAP is focused on preserving the forests on a 52,000-hectare concession within the Mayan Biosphere Reserve in the San Andres area which plays a critical role in regional conservation and has the world’s highest concentration of jaguars.

MDI-Nepal has introduced agroforestry to help improve crop productivity and water irrigation systems as well as reduce soil erosion on the forested hills and mountainous areas of their country.

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Alison Wheatley

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