Development Marketplace couldn't happen without its sponsors, who donated nearly $5 million for this year's event. Here they are, from left, at the Friday morning awards ceremony -- William Ehlers, team leader of the Global Environment Facility; Elwyn Grainer-Jones of the International Fund for Agricultural Development; Danish Ambassador to the U.S. Friss Arne Petersen; Warren Evans, World Bank Environment Director; and Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President of the World Bank Institute.
World Bank climate change specialist Kseniya Lvovsky was a juror for DM2009. Here's what she had to say about the judging process and the quality of the finalists' projects in a new posting to the Bank's Development in a Changing Climate blog. All very interesting, and authoritative, because Lvovsky is leading the Climate Change team in the Environmental Department of the World Bank that is overseeing the implementation of the Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change. She is also coordinating climate change-related activities across the Bank.
In Peru, innovative forest fire management prevents the risk of more fires with rising temperatures. In Kenya, communities share experiences with multi-pronged approaches to managing climate risk, combining indigenous knowledge with modern technologies. In India, women and youth use reality-show methods to tell of climate options. In the Philippines, a mangrove restoration initiative helps improve livelihoods during storms now, and protects against longer-term climate change impacts.
These are just some of the examples of the “100 ideas to save the planet” that I encountered as a juror for this year’s Development Marketplace, which focused on innovative solutions for climate change. Development Marketplace is an annual competitive grant program that identifies and funds innovative, early-stage development projects that have high potential for replication and development impact.
Of these one hundred great ideas, 26 winners were announced today in three categories—Resilience of Indigenous Peoples Communities to Climate Risks; Climate Risk Management with Multiple Benefits; and Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management. Each winner receives a grant of up to $200,000 to implement their project over two years.
You can read more about the winners in these categories (and also about how this global competition works and who funds it) on the Development Marketplace website and follow the conversation on the Development Marketplace blog. For many of the winners, it was a long journey to Washington DC to compete for the grants.
|David Manalo's organization wants to distribute unique floating generators to provide electricity to people in a remote part of the Philippines.|
From mangrove forests to the Amazon Basin to the High Andes, Latin America and the Caribbean are threatened by climate change. And so are Indigenous Peoples who live in these sensitive environments.
So it's not that surprising, perhaps, that of the 100 finalists in DM2009, 39 come from Latin American and Caribbean countries -- 12 from Peru alone.
One of the Peru projects seeks to "blend Western science and indigenous knowledge systems [and] know-how" to help bring buen vivir (good living) to the indigenous community of Potato Park in the High Andes through the development of new tuber varieties resistant to extreme climate conditions.
"Extreme conditions are showing up more often with more force throughout the region," said Alejandro Argumedo, director of the Association ANDES project (in photo at left with researcher Katrina Quisumbing King). "With global warming we are seeing the emergence of a new climate, and it's coming very fast."
In Belize, "the impact of climate change is exacerbated by a combination of deforestation and tourism that is shrinking the mangrove forests that act as a sponge against storm-caused flooding," said Gregory Ch'oc, executive director of Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (in photo at right with technical coordinator Lynette Gomez). The indigenous communities of this ecoystem are heavily impacted by the natural and manmade forces of destruction. Ch'oc's group seeks to help one hard hit indigenous district with community-based solutions for forest management that would begin with an inventory of the flora at risk.
YouTube is a service quite similar to Flickr, but for videos. You can upload your videos to this platform, give them a title and description and that way share it with the whole world.
At Development Marketplace 2009 we figured that YouTube would be a great way to introduce the participants to the global audience and include the project teams into the creation of content. Everybody can browse the projects on Youtube and gets an introdcution to these projects by the project teams themselves!
Just try out yourself - the complete playlist is constantly upadted and available at the DevMarketplace2009 channel.
We are still shooting videos and lending participants Flip cams so everybody can film what they want.
We hope that this way our participants' projects are made visible to potential partners and donors.
If you want to contribute, follow the steps below:
One of DM2009's most important cogs is emcee Michael Ciszewski, a consultant at the World Bank who is an organization development specialist who's focus is working with teams. On Thursday afternoon I caught up with Ciszewsk for this mini-interview:
Q. The finalists looked pretty intense at the opening session on Monday [photo below]. Were they?
A. Everybody was uncertain and nervous. Me included. We were all starting out on a brand new journey, although most of the participants have been on their own absolutely incredible journeys.
Q. So your objective was to get them relaxed?
A. I'm probably intially thinking, I've got to get myself relaxed. If I can do that, then they'll settle into the relaxed space they need to be in.
Q. What's your M.O.?
A. There's a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work to make this happen, and the DM2009 team has just been unbelievable, on call for 24 hours a day. Despite all that preparation, when the lights go up, and I'm on the podium, the script only takes me and the group so far. A big part of what makes this work is letting them have the space they need and want. That's hard to do with 200 people in the room. But what we've done is a pretty good job of allowing people to say what they want to say when they think it's time to say it. I'm amazed and impressed how interactive the sessions have been, how willing the participants have been to be present in the room.
Helen Marquard, Executive Director of the SEED Initiative, is visiting Development Marketplace for the first time and is getting inspired by the sense of innovation at the event. She posts:
There are many similarities between the Development Marketplace and the SEED winners. The SEED winners, the 2009 winner in fact we just announced Wednesday (Nov. 11), show how far you can take a good idea, an idea that does not only make business sense but also contributes to the environment and the community. With more ideas like these we can surely face the challenge of climate change.
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The SEED Initiative through a competition every year selects the most promising start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs around the globe. These entrepreneurs are then provided not with money but also with locally tailored support and know-how, to meet their most urgent needs. SEED also introduces them to organisations and companies that could have an interest and assist in scaling up the enterprises. The lessons learned are then collected, analysed, and shared with other entrepreneurs to promote sustainable development more widely.
Looking at the 11 finalist projects he was assisgned to evaluate, juror Fred Onduri says: "I am so impressed. I would give them all a thumbs up. I wish they could all be winners."
Onduri, who is chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as head of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is one of the 40 jurors who took a searching look at the 100 projects that were winnowed from the 1,750 applications proposing early-stage adaptation to climate change. Their goal was to choose up to 25 winners.
Onduri said the winners would have a better chance of long-term success if they were incorporated in the national priorities of the governments of the countries where the projects would be undertaken. "Their funding will carry them for about two years," Onduri said. "That's not enough. Sustainability is very critical."
He also said that the winning projects' chance of ultimate success would be improved if jurors could offers ways to improve the proposals, especially in closing what he called "the sustainability gap."
Onduri and his colleagues used five criteria in their evaluations: