On to Bonn

Meet the top 10 finalists in this year's Solution Search contest, Farming For Biodiversity

June 9, 2017

June 11 marks the International Day of Agriculture, a day to take to recognize the importance of thriving and environmentally responsible farming. Now, Rare celebrates the advent of innovative, sustainable farming practices around the world with the release of the top 10 finalists of Solution Search: Farming for Biodiversity, a global crowdsourcing effort that sources, supports and rewards local projects with the potential to reshape the future of farming.

Since December, Solution Search collected 338 entries from local people and organizations around the world, who’ve worked against global trends of unsustainable agriculture and environmental degradation to promote alternative, sustainable and biodiversity-friendly farming practices in their communities.

Solution Search has selected 10 of the most promising solutions among the entries: A Growing CultureApis AgribusinessCanopyBridge-EcoDecisionDesarrollo Alternativo e Investigación A.C.Fairventures WorldwideFundación EcotopManor House Agricultural CentreNational Disaster Risk Reduction Center Nepal (NDRC Nepal)Sustainable Income Generating Investment Group (SINGI), and The Mountain Institute (Peru).

The finalists bring a diverse batch of projects to the table, addressing challenges like harmful livestock farming and deforestation. In Vietnam, A Growing Culture is transforming local hog farming using “living bio-beds,” a natural form of hog bedding inoculated with healthy microorganisms. The bio-beds improve hog health, reduce the need for synthetic farming materials, and can actively break down hog waste — protecting communities from the toxic runoff associated with industrial hog farms. In Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo, Fairventures Worldwide is combatting deforestation threats in a high-demand area for logging and palm oil plantations. There, the group is using multi-species agroforestry systems and permaculture to rebuild self-sustaining ecosystems and make the soil in degraded lands productive once more. Visit Solution Search to learn more about this year’s finalists and vote for the project you think has the best solution.

The finalists are invited to attend a capacity-building workshop alongside the international climate conference in Bonn, Germany, this year. The top 10 will compete for the People’s Choice grand prize of $30,000, while all entries are still up for the Judges’ Choice $30,000 grand prize and category prizes of $15,000. Partners and judges represent organizations including: Rare, the Global Environment Facility, Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, Patagonia, Save the Children, GAIN, IFOAM-Organics International, Deutsche Welle, Inter-American Development Bank, Stockholm Resilience Center, EcoAgriculture Partners, United Nations Rapporteurs, CONABIO (Mexico), Panorama, World Wildlife Fund, Blue Solutions, Global Island Partnership, Food Tank, and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development.

This contest is part of a larger project run in joint partnership by Rare, IFOAM-Organics International, and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat and is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), a German initiative supported by The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. Over three years, the partners will work together to identify these promising approaches and then host capacity-building workshops across the globe to spread these effective solutions. This workshop series – known as Campaigning for Conservation, will aim to further empower local practitioners to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and to conduct social marketing campaigns promoting behavior change in support of the identified solutions. All entries to this contest will become part of a larger network of stakeholders engaged in supporting biodiversity-friendly agriculture.