The Swiss Re Foundation is awarding USD 150,000 to a project in Madagascar that aims to improve farmer's access to water for production in one of the country's poorest regions, but one that is known for being home to dozens of species of animal life that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.
For the first time this award is given by Swiss Re Foundation, a non-profit organisation established by Swiss Re that is committed to care and concern for society and the environment. In prior years the award was given by Swiss Re.
The jury of the International ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management comprises an independent, international panel of water experts from NGOs and governmental institutions, as well as knowledge managers from Swiss Re.
About the winning project
The Manakaravavy river in Madagascar not only constitutes the breadbasket of the island's Mahafaly plateau, it is also unique because of its rich biodiversity. The winning project—put forward by WWF Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Programme Office—aims to manage and protect the river, its riverbanks and surrounding forests. Just as importantly, the project aims to increase production capacity of local farms by adopting irrigation technologies and improving agricultural techniques. The projects initiators hope that farmers will have an incentive to stay in their local communities if living conditions and food security improve. This should help reduce uncontrolled migration to nearby Tsimanampesotsa National Park, named after its spectacular soda lake and known for its large number of endemic species and rare birds.
The project will be implemented in close collaboration with local farmers, authorities and technical departments on water, agricultural, husbandry and forest.
You can learn more about this year's winner, by visiting the award's website.