HAMBURG, Bonn (WFC)―More people, less erosion – Ethiopia’s Tigray Region demonstrates that this can be a reality: They will take home the Gold Future Policy Award 2017, beating 26 other nominated policies to the prize. Also known as “Oscar for Best Policies”, the Future Policy Award highlights the world’s best policies that combat desertification and land degradation this year. With unique collective action, voluntary labor and the involvement of youth, the people of Tigray Region are restoring land on a massive scale. As a result, erosion has decreased significantly, groundwater levels are recharged, and the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices made a significant contribution to food self-sufficiency and economic growth.

Two Silver Awards were granted to:

  • Brazil’s Cistern Program, which empowered millions of the country’s poorest people by building 2 million cisterns in the Semiarid region and providing water for consumption and for growing food and keeping livestock
  • China’s Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, the world’s first integrated law dedicated to combating desertification. Over the last 15 years, China has reversed the trend of desertification.

The Vision Award goes to the international “4 per 1000” Initiative which communicates a new concept for mitigating climate change through the increase of soil organic carbon.

“The Ethiopian Tigray Region’s win of the Gold Future Policy Award is sending a strong, empowering message: they show how a small region in a climate vulnerable country can find a smart and highly effective way to successfully address a global challenge. This is placing Ethiopia firmly on the map as an environmental leader.” Alexandra Wandel, Director of the World Future Council (WFC)

The international jury further bestowed Bronze Awards to:

  • Australia’s Indigenous Protected Areas and Rangers Programs, where more than 2,600 indigenous rangers are at the forefront of tackling environmental degradation
  • Jordan’s Updated Rangeland Strategy, which is enshrining the Middle East’s most widespread and longstanding indigenous traditional conservation institution ‘Hima’ into law
  • Niger’s large-scale, cross-sectoral 3N Initiative ‘Nigeriens Nourishing Nigeriens’ addressing land degradation and food security.

Continue reading this story at World Future Council (WFC)
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