Miss Universe Leila Lopes announced the first winners of the Land for Life Award on the World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2012, during the Rio+20 Summit.
First place: Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) in Haiti
The people of Haiti struggle with problems as a result of land degradation and lack of access to sanitation. Through building eco-san toilets, SOIL provides access to toilets to people who have none, and at the same time creates valuable organic fertilizer for community land restoration. Recognizing their innovative efforts, SOIL has been awarded 40,000 USD.
Watch an animated powerpoint about SOIL's work.
Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA) in Turkey
With nearly half a million members and active volunteers, TEMA is the largest movement for conservation, erosion control and habitat restoration in Turkey. As a result of their advocacy, the threat of soil erosion is widely known about as an urgent issue Turkish citizens.
TEMA volunteers have collected more than one million signatures, helping to pass a law on Law on Conservation of Soil and Land Management. Recognizing their inspiring efforts, TEMA has been awarded 30,000 USD.
Conservation Efforts for Community Development (CECOD) in Uganda
Eighty-five percent of Ugandans live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. But schools do not prepare students to work the land, and many youth never complete their education. Through eco-schools, CECOD trains teachers in a curriculum for sustainable land management, and has launched dozens of hands on community projects, like school gardens, water collection and compost. Recognizing their important efforts, CECOD has been awarded 30,000 USD.
Read more about the winners in a special edition of UNCCD News.
Two organizations received special mention for their achievements from the Jury:
The Wand Foundation, Philippines
For Press: find out more with photos and factsheets about the winners.