Sustainable development has been one of Development Marketplace's themes since its beginning 10 years ago. It's hard to count all the DM winners and finalists who have come forward with innovative "green" ideas that they wanted to share. Just a few examples:
One of the winners in DM2007 -- themed "Health, Nutrition, Population" -- was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-sponsored project to develop clean-burning cooking charcoal from agricultural waste. Haiti's traditional cooking fuel often comes from wood. But wood burning produces high pollution that is a cause of widespread respiratory disease. Substituting charcoal for cooking not only improves the health of Haitian families, but also means fewer trees -- a major protection against soil erosion -- are cut down.
A winner in the 2008 competition, whose theme was "Sustainable Agriculture for Development," was a project in Sengal that developed a cheaper fuel that farmers could use to transport their agricultural products to market by boat along rural waterways. The substitute fuel was peanut and other seed oil that not only cost less, but was also cleaner burning. Once again, a DM project proved environmentally friendly.
And, of course, as all our readers know, there were 26 winners in the DM2009 Climate Change competition.