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Grassroots Women's Organisation in Andhra Pradesh Wins Prestigious UN Award

The Deccan Development Society has been awarded the Equator Prize 2019, organised by the Equator Initiative within the United Nations Development Programme.

PTI

Updated:June 11, 2019, 9:01 PM IST
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Grassroots Women's Organisation in Andhra Pradesh Wins Prestigious UN Award
For Representation (PTI)
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United Nations A grassroots women's organisation in Andhra Pradesh is among the 22 winners of a prestigious United Nations award given biennially to recognise outstanding efforts towards local, innovative, nature-based climate solutions.

The Deccan Development Society has been awarded the Equator Prize 2019, organised by the Equator Initiative within the United Nations Development Programme. Each of the 22 winners represents outstanding community and indigenous initiatives that are advancing nature-based solutions for climate change and local sustainable development.

"In the Zaheerabad region of India, the Deccan Development Society promotes women-led regenerative agriculture and community-seed banks to empower Dalit and tribal women, promote sustainable land use, and achieve food security," the citation said.

According to information on its website, the Deccan Development Society (DDS) is a two and half decade old grassroots organisation working in about 75 villages with women's voluntary village level associations in Medak District of Andhra Pradesh. "The 5000 women members of the Society represent the poorest of the poor in their village communities. Most of them are dalits, the lowest group in the Indian social hierarchy," it said.

The women of the DDS sanghams have worked towards autonomy over food production, seeds, natural resources, market and media.

Other winners of the prize include 'Solar Freeze' of Kenya, an initiative that is pioneering the production of portable solar cold rooms that reduce post-harvest losses of food grown primarily by women smallholder farmers by 90 per cent, increase household incomes, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through food loss.

'Indigenous Group of Dayak Iban Sungai Utik Long House'- Indonesia that has protected an estimated 1.31 million tonnes of carbon in their 9,504-hectare customary forest and for decades fought against corporate interests; Hui Maka'ainana o Makana', Hawaii, a native Hawaiian grassroots initiative has woven together traditional, place-based knowledge and policy advocacy to sustainably manage their near-shore fisheries and

'Associacao Indigena Kisedje' in Brazil, an association of Kisedje indigenous people that has transformed the status quo by reclaiming their traditional lands and developing an innovative entrepreneurial model that uses the native pequi tree to restore landscapes, foster food security, and develop products for local and national markets.

The Equator Initiative received 847 nominations from 127 countries around the world. The winners were selected after an extensive, four-stage peer-review process guided by a Technical Advisory Committee of international experts. Winners will be celebrated at a high-level award ceremony in New York in September.

The organisation said that as sustainable community initiatives take root throughout the tropics, they are laying the foundation for a global movement of local successes that are collectively making a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As local and indigenous groups across the tropics demonstrate and exemplify sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by celebrating them on an international stage.

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