First Runners Up
The Awareness and Community Engagement Campaign across Pakistan for Environmental Protection through a blended digital and offline approach
This amazing team from Pakistan ran the winners extremely close: expect to hear more in the future from these high-flying, young women, Saira Ahmad and Samar Hasan who led a campaign to raise awareness and engage communities across Pakistan about climate change.
The Sohni Dharti campaign included an open competition encouraging people to submit their own videos illustrating the effects of climate change: resulting in some classics - check them out on their Facebook page.
Samar and Saira were also expert at building links with the other alumni teams from across the region and even showcasing the other alumni projects on their site.
There were 3 teams from Pakistan who all did their country proud and on a different day any of them could have been winners. A special mention has to go to Team WIRE, represented by Fatima, Durre and Umar who ran a full weekend bootcamp for women working in renewable energy. They collaborated with the Sohni Dharti team too and it was fabulous to see the spirit of partnership. If you'd like to follow or support WIRE here's the link.
Last but by no means least were the team from Pakistan with their biogas project where they trained and equipped farmers to use biogas slurry as organic fertilizer to improve vegetable farming yields and reduce the use of chemicals. Fawad, Riaz, Mukhtar and Muhammad - great guys making great impact.
Well, three winners actually. The competition was intense and the quality was amazing, making the judging one of the hardest tasks I and the other judges have ever had. Every team here had done amazing work but in the end the top spot went to the team from the Bandarban Hill District of Bangladesh who had been fighting to stop illegal stone extraction which was drying up the rivers and threatening biodiversity as well as the livelihoods of local indigenous people.
They were pitted against powerful local syndicates they had to battle in the courts, as well as educating and winning over the local community. Their struggle is far from over but the extra funds and the chance to make new connections at the Climate Reality event will help. Truly worthy winners.
In the next posts I'll cover the two runners up plus some more on Bhutan itself - possibly the most beautiful little country in the world.