Solution Search Announces Winners of its Changing Unsustainable Trade contest

Global contest accelerates behavioral solutions to change unsustainable trade

November 22, 2023

Arlington, VA – Solution Search, a global contest that highlights local solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental problems, announced the winners of its Solution Search: Changing Unsustainable Trade contest during the International Congress on Wildlife Management in the Amazon and Latin America (CIMFAUNA) this past Tuesday, November 21 in Santa Marta, Colombia.

Winners were chosen from a pool of participants from across Latin America and the Caribbean and were eligible for two grand prizes of $20,000: the Judges’ Award, determined by a panel of experts, and the People’s Choice Award, based on public voting.

One Earth Conservation (OEC) won the Judges’ Award for its work in La Moskitia, Honduras, for its Apu Pauni (scarlet macaw) Project. The project has become the largest wild parrot conservation area in the world, protected by community patrols. With local partners, OEC has reduced scarlet macaw poaching from 100% to less than 20% by patrolling 500,000 acres of indigenous territory.

Provita was chosen by the public as the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Provita is an organization dedicated to the conservation of the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parakeet, an endangered species. These birds are found mainly in Macanao, on Margarita Island, where up to 30% of the population keeps them as pets. The project promotes outdoor activities as a way to enjoy the birds without keeping them in captivity.

This initiative is in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Rare, and the Wildlife Conservation Society as part of the Conservando Juntos project, which aims to strengthen the capacities of civil society actors and their regional networks to lead biodiversity conservation and environmental crime prevention efforts in the Amazon.

Elena Montes, USAID project officer, congratulated the winning organizations, while ratifying the Agency’s commitment to support innovative approaches and strategies that strengthen the capacities of civil society to care for biodiversity and prevent environmental crimes, connecting urban and rural areas of the region with the conservation of the Amazon.

“The competition has allowed us to identify effective solutions and best practices that will accelerate cross-learning processes to strengthen civil society capacities in the prevention of unsustainable or illegal wildlife trade.” Mariana Varese commented during the award ceremony.

Solution Search finds and accelerate solutions to environmental challenges that change the behavior of people and communities. It combines the dynamism of a talent competition, the focus of a mission-driven organization and the transparency of an online platform to identify how behavioral insights can help solve the world’s most challenging environmental problems.

In addition to the Solution Search Awards, USAID’s Prevenir project partnered with Rare and WCS to launch the Innovation Sub-Challenge for the Peruvian Amazon, which aims to test innovative solutions to prevent and combat illegal wildlife trade in the regions of Loreto, Ucayali and/or Madre de Dios. After a rigorous multidisciplinary selection process, the Sub-Challenge award has been granted to Panthera for its “Jaguar School” project, which will be developed in Loreto. Panthera is dedicated exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and the vast ecosystems they inhabit.

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About Rare
Rare is an international non-profit organization specializing in social change for people and the planet. For nearly 50 years, Rare has partnered with individuals, communities and local leaders on the front lines of conservation to promote the adoption of sustainable practices. Using a behavior-based approach, Rare empowers individuals and communities to better manage and protect the nature we all depend on. Learn more at

About Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment
Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment (BE.Center) leverages the science of human behavior to inspire this change. As the first conservation center to explore the intersection of behavioral science and design for conservation, we are transforming the way the environmental field addresses our global challenges. Learn more at

Solution Search, a competition initiated by Rare, highlights and accelerates existing solutions that use behavioral science to help solve the world’s toughest environmental problems. Since its inception, Solution Search has gathered more than 1,050 solutions from 127 countries around the world. Now in its seventh contest, Solution Search focuses on one specific conservation problem per competition and helps finalists and winners scale their solutions and increase their impact.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian aid in more than 80 countries around the world. USAID plays a vital role in protecting critical ecosystems such as the Amazon Basin through biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, working directly with beneficiaries such as indigenous peoples and local communities. The Amazon Regional Environmental Program (AREP) envisions a healthy and resilient Amazon basin that is valued by society, ensures human well-being and safeguards our global climate.

About USAID’s Prevenir Project
USAID’s Prevenir Project supports the Government of Peru, civil society and the private sector to improve conditions for preventing and combating environmental crime in the Peruvian Amazon. Find more information about the project’s initiatives at the following website:

About the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
WCS saves wildlife and wild places around the world through science, conservation action, education and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve its mission, WCS, headquartered at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and every ocean in the world and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people a year. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos and aquariums to fulfill its conservation mission.

Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: +1 (347) 840-1242.