2013 Land for Life Award Winners


Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), India


When land is shared by everyone, who is responsible for its well-being? Through land restoration and establishing community governance mechanisms, FES has worked to bring sustainable land management to over 200,000 hectares of common property rangelands, forests and water resources in India. Their work has improved the livelihoods of 1.7 million people living in more than 4,000 villages, and influenced national environmental policy.  Read more…

Poor land governance is one of the leading reasons for the emergence of desertification and land degradation in many parts of the world. FES has found an innovative solution to this problem and for large-scale commons.

-Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD



We are happy that 'Commons' both as resource systems and as a governance paradigm is gaining recognition internationally. With our feet firmly on the ground and with growing enthusiasm, FES will continue to espouse the cause of improved governance of nature and natural resources to provide better opportunities to the rural poor.

-Jagdeesh Rao, Executive Director of FES


Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMSS), Mexico


The Amanalco Valle Bravo Basin in central Mexico provides vital water and forest resources to millions of people. But recently the land has suffered due to population pressures and unplanned development. CCMSS has built the capacity of 1,500 families of smallholder farmers for sustainable agriculture and forestry management over 15,200 hectares. They also are piloting carbon finance (REDD+) and payment for ecosystem services programs in Mexico.  Read more…

We would like to express our deep acknowledgement to the rural communities that silently make great efforts to sustainably manage landscapes, safeguarding humanity’s bio-cultural heritage. The work of CCMSS has prospered thanks to determination of Mexican communities and to the wisdom, knowledge and efforts they make in order to collectively steward natural resources, demonstrating the success of their organization strategies.

-Sergio Madrid Zubiran, Executive Director of CCMSS.



The most sustainable solutions to our environmental problems are those that find a balance between resource conservation, improving livelihoods and income generation, and CCMSS has found that balance.

-Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD



World Vision Australia working in West Africa


By popularizing the concept of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), World Vision Australia has changed how thousands of farmers manage their land, helping them cultivate buried root systems or “underground forests,” in degraded landscapes, over time restoring productivity. Over the last 20 years, World Vision has trained thousands of farmers in FMNR, resulting in the restoration of thousands of hectares in West Africa and beyond.  Read more…

World Vision Australia is thrilled by the UNCCD's recognition of our reforestation work. This award is another big step towards global recognition of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration and the impact it's having on tackling poverty. The pioneer of FMNR, Tony Rinaudo, has committed his life to reforesting degraded land and bringing hope back to communities, so it is a great pleasure for me and my colleagues to witness the impact his work is now having in 14 countries around the world. FMNR is truly turning man-made deserts into food bowls and that's something World Vision is immensely proud of.

-Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision Australia


The value of traditional and indigenous knowledge systems in environmental management today is often questioned, but in FMNR, the power of traditional knowledge systems that are combined with conventional science truly comes alive. The scale of land rehabilitation in this region and the impact it has had on the well-being of the local people is nothing short of phenomenal.

-Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD