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.
Being a juror was very uplifting because one can see many wonderful ideas and amazing people who are making a real difference in changing the world for the better without even realizing it. But it was also tough because I was impressed by all “my projects” (those I had to evaluate) but was required to select only a subset for the award. And there were so many no less wonderful projects evaluated by other jurors that were competing for the same award pool.
But it was also clear that it is not this award that motivated people to do what they do, and they will continue pushing forward what they believe in. The most important “take-away” message from this year’s Development Marketplace is that the ingenuity of people has no limits and it is this ingenuity that will define our planet’s future.