Farming, Climate Change Mitigation, Land Restoration: global projects celebrated in LUSH Spring Prize

Permaculture Magazine
Monday, 25th October 2021

The 2021 Lush Spring Prize recipients have been announced, celebrating and supporting regenerative projects from around the world.

The Lush Spring Prize recipients are working around the world in a diverse range of fields including landscape restoration, food and farming, climate change mitigation and adaptation, Indigenous rights, and empowering women and other marginalised groups. While projects may have different focuses, they all take holistic and regenerative approaches to solving the challenges they face, with many being led by members of the communities they are working in. 

The 2021 prizes are awarded across six categories: Intentional, Young, Established and Influence Awards, a Youth In Permaculture Prize (run in partnership with Abundant Earth Foundation) and an Ancient and Indigenous Wisdom Award (run in partnership with Be The Earth Foundation); investing more than £220,000 in regenerative work.

The 20 prize recipients of the 2021 LUSH Spring Prize are:

Influence Projects Award

Established Projects Award

Young Projects Award

Intentional Projects Award

Ancient and Indigenous Wisdom Award

Youth in Permaculture Prize (in collaboration with Abundant Earth Foundation)

What is the LUSH Spring Prize?

Launched in 2017, the Lush Spring Prize is now in its fourth year of celebrating and awarding prizes to groups working toward eco-social regeneration. It is a joint venture between LUSH Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer, and has distributed more than £820,000 to date.

It was set up to support ‘regenerative’ projects – those that go beyond sustainability by taking holistic approaches to building the health of ecology, economy and social systems.

By supporting regenerative projects, the Spring Prize hopes to raise the profile of the movement as a whole to inspire more individuals, groups, communities, funders and businesses to start engaging with regenerative processes.

People all over the world are developing and remembering ways to live in cooperation with nature and each other. They are resisting further damage, restoring ecosystems, generating renewable resources, nurturing solidarity and building health, wholeness and resilience. The Lush Spring Prize supports and celebrates their work through:

  • A biennial £200,000+ prize fund. This is open to communities, organisations and businesses from the Intentional stage, through to Young and Established organisations, and Influencers.
  • Events that bring people together to share their skills and experience.
  • Publicity to raise awareness of regeneration and its potential to heal damaged systems.

The 2021 Lush Spring Prize received over 400 applications, which were shortlisted to a group of 54 in June and July this year. The prize saw a 61% increase in reach, with applications being submitted by inspiring projects spanning 81 different countries and every continent except Antarctica.

Projects were driven by a range of stakeholders, including grassroots campaigners, small scale agro-ecological producers, regenerative businesses, Indigenous-led groups, academics, global solidarity networks and think tanks. Their work addresses multiple issues needed to support life, including ecosystem restoration, regenerative food production, building communities, creating resilient housing and circular economies, whilst also supporting displaced people, protecting Indigenous rights and access to land.

Judges

The 12 judges represent the many movements making positive change, including regenerative design, permaculture, food sovereignty, transition, biomimicry and eco-village networks. The judges also include a ‘Lush Customer Judge’ and ‘Lush Staff Judge’ to act as additional independent members of the judging panel.

For 2021 an additional five judges worked with the Ancient and Indigenous Wisdom Award, and five for the Youth in Permaculture Prize.

A project from each category

Full details on each winning recipient, and the shortlist can be found on the Spring Prize website.

Recipients include:

Education for Climate Action for Peace (Malaysia) – Young Award

Education for Climate Action for Peace (E4CAP) was birthed in October 2019 to combat adverse climate change and to provide sustainable living education and livelihood preparedness training to refugees and stateless teens and youths that don’t have access to mainstream education and cannot work legally in Malaysia. E4CAP is a collaboration between Permaculture Design Certification course alumni, including refugee teens.

Permatil (Timor-Leste) – Established Award

Empowering people through community-driven permaculture projects since 2001, Permatil recognised the urgent need to regenerate Timor-Leste’s natural environment and create sustainable livelihoods and resilient communities, while strengthening culture and traditional knowledge. Permatil plans and implements permaculture projects with communities across Timor-Leste, while training future trainers, including NGO and government staff, community leaders and local farmers. They also focus on water restoration, working to rehabilitate springs for 174 communities.

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Image: Permatil co-founder Ego Lemos (front) with local community, Permatil staff and local officials, planting native trees.

Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (Guatemala) – Established Award

Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (IMAP) started in 2000 in San Lucas Tolimán, on the shores of Lake Atitlán in the Mayan highlands of Guatemala. It was created by a group of Maya Kakchiquel folk with the desire to use native seeds, permaculture, traditional Indigenous knowledge and education to create social healing after 36 years of internal armed conflict that wiped out hundreds of communities and displaced millions from their land and disrupted the transfer of their culture and ancestral knowledge.

Gaza Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Platform: GUPAP (Palestine) – Influence Award

Gaza Urban & Peri-Urban Agriculture Platform (GUPAP) enhances resilience, builds institutional capacity and supports collaboration amongst its eighty member Community Based Organisation; including advocacy and policy influencing campaigns and sharing of knowledge, success stories and experience at local, regional and global levels. GAPUP’s work responds to the challenging urban protracted crisis context of the Gaza Strip; where economic opportunities are very limited and urban agriculture is not officially recognised by policy makers and planners.

Associação Centro de Cultura Sabuká Kariri Xocó (Brazil) – Ancient and Indigenous Wisdom Award

The Kariri-Xocó sleep and wake up fighting for their existence. Within their territory is a unique biome: the meeting of the Caatinga – the only exclusively Brazilian biome – with the Atlantic Forest. Their village is located on the banks of the Opará, the São Francisco River in Brazil. Yet, even so, their lands and plants are dry because the river suffers.

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Image: Valdete da Silva making a clay pot with the Associação Centro de Cultura Sabuká Kariri Xocó community.

The Centro de Cultura Sabuká Kariri-Xocó was born with the mission of fighting for the preservation of their life and that of all the beings that live there. It gathers children, young people and elders to be together, as their ancestors did. In addition to nurturing culture, they plant community gardens, harvest and feed themselves in groups of up to 100 people a day, and hold their Torés, dialogues, games, football and other activities.

They dream of taking back ancestral memory and guaranteeing food, collective work, union and the strengthening of their culture. With this project they see a great possibility of survival for their ethnic group and village. It provides the hope of resistance for their people.

Useful links

LUSH to buy second piece of land to save Sumatran Rainforests

LUSH: Fighting oil palm destruction

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