Innovative examples of adaptation efforts to save lives and improve livelihoods were recognized May 9 at the Annual Reception of GAIN’s 2012 Annual Meeting & Scientific Convening in Washington, D.C. The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) awarded the first GAIN Prizes for work on adaptation at an event attended by world leaders in the public and private sector. The four GAIN Prizes, which are each a monetary and recognition award for work in adaptation to climate change, urbanization, population growth and other global challenges, are unique. For more information, please visit the GAIN Prize site here.
The GAIN Prizes are the first given to recognize those organizations and entrepreneurs that are working on innovative projects and successfully tested technologies that will help the most vulnerable adapt to the changing global climate. These Prizes honor what has been done on the ground working shoulder-to-shoulder with vulnerable communities on innovative adaptation solutions. Four Prizes were distributed at a ceremony during the Annual Reception.
The inaugural GAIN Prizes highlight countries that are highly vulnerable and that are making progress, according to the GAIN Readiness Matrix.
Winners were judged on criteria including effectiveness, scalability, impact, marketability and relevance to the GAIN Index. Given that most resources to help countries and communities adapt will come from investments from the private sector, a particular emphasis was put on projects that have engaged the private sector as a partner in their work.
When the GAIN Prizes were announced at the Annual Reception, high-level participants including the former President of Spain José María Aznar; representatives from the private sector including GAIN Board of Directors Chairman and NGP Energy Capital Management CEO Ken Hersh, and others from AECOM, Baker & McKenzie, PepsiCo, Ernst & Young, Swiss Re, The World Bank and The Kresge Foundation; and prominent organizations as well as ministers of environment and commerce were in attendance.
We are honored to announce publicly for the first time the 2012 GAIN Prizes:
From left, GAIN Founding CEO Juan José Daboub; Elliott Gall, EWB-Austin Chapter; Laura Read, EWB-Austin Chapter; Fernando Salas, EWB-Austin Chapter
For their work on the Climate Adaptation in Mountain Basins in the Andean Region (CAMBIAR) project – Peru’s vulnerability in food and agriculture has actually been rising in recent years. Low irrigation levels, migration from rural to urban areas, dependence on imports, and a high degree of sensitivity to climatic changes require significant attention from entrepreneurs (often, small-scale) to create locally-based solutions to increase food security in their community.
From left, former President of Spain José María Aznar; GAIN Founding CEO Juan José Daboub; Katie Turner, MEDA; GAIN Board of Directors Chairman and NGP Energy Capital Management CEO Ken Hersh
For their work on the Technology Links for Improved Access and Incomes (Techno-Links) – MEDA has created an innovative program, Techno-Links, which provides rural farming families access to technology (such as drip irrigation and tilling equipment) for agricultural products. In many developing countries, inputs to agriculture are scarce, and extreme poverty and red tape prevents many businesses from getting off of the ground. Through the Techno-Links projects in Peru, thousands of small farmers will be able to create sustainable farming systems that stimulate economic growth and food security in their communities.
From left, David Aviles, PING; former President of Spain José María Aznar; GAIN Founding CEO Juan José Daboub; Katy Digovich, PING; GAIN Board of Directors Chairman and NGP Energy Capital Management CEO Ken Hersh and Scott Merritt, PING
For their work on the Disease Surveillance & Mapping Project in Botswana – The GAIN Index shows Botswana’s high vulnerability in the healthcare sector. A lack of doctors and nurses, domestic resources and medical information can significantly worsen the effects of natural disasters and disease outbreaks. PING is doing something about it.
From left, former President of Spain José María Aznar; GAIN Founding CEO Juan José Daboub; GAIN Board of Directors Chairman and NGP Energy Capital Management CEO Ken Hersh; GAIN VP of Finance & Administration Jessica Siegel; and Nathaniel Manning, Ushahidi
For their creation of the Crowd Source Technology Platform and Tools –Ushahidi is a nonprofit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. Ushahidi has created an innovative crowdsource technology and other tools to change the way information flows and how everyday citizens interface with that data. It uploads information based on twitter or SMS messages, processes that data and translates it to a map. The Ushahidi technology has been used to help communities communicate during times of crisis, such as during floods and earthquakes as well as convey food and energy shortages.