We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2022 St Andrews Prize for the Environment is Misión Tiburón, for their community-based project to protect and restore blue carbon sinks. Misión Tiburón will receive a $100,000 cash prize to further their efforts in the Hammerhead Shark Sanctuary in Costa Rica.
Runners-up Avani and Health in Harmony will each receive a cash prize of $25,000 to enable them to expand and scale their projects.
Misión Tiburón - Winner
Community-based project to protect and restore blue carbon sinks in the Hammerhead Shark Sanctuary, Costa Rica
Misión Tiburón were founded in Costa Rica in 2009 with the aim of promoting ocean conservation by integrating marine education and training projects with scientific research and social advocacy.
They have been working in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, since 2010, where they promote environmental education, train government institutions in marine-resource protection, and reduce by-catch in fisheries. Their work identifying critical habitats for the critically-endangered scalloped hammerhead shark led to the Costa Rican government creating the Hammerhead Shark Sanctuary of Golfo Dulce in 2018, which protects the wetlands used as a nursery area by the species.
Misión Tiburón’s “Protect and restore blue carbon sinks…” project aims to consolidate the engagement of local communities into climate action and promote activities based on the blue economy. It builds capacity and supports formal education for girls, considered one of the most powerful solutions to climate change.
Avani - Runner up
Colors for a Sustainable Planet by Himalayan Women
Avani is an NGO founded in 1997 that has facilitated producer-owned enterprise since 2005. They are based in the Kumaon region of the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
Their focus is circular enterprise with a low-carbon footprint and their core values include women’s empowerment, respect for traditional knowledge, and conserving and regenerating biodiversity. They create opportunity where there is none and foster self-reliance in socially-vulnerable women and school drop-out girls in remote Himalayan villages.
Soil and water pollution caused by synthetically-produced dyes and detergents has caused extensive damage to ground water and oceans but through their work, Avani aims to heal the earth with plant-based dyes and organic detergents. They have planted more than 30,000 trees for dyes, detergents and sericulture and reclaimed 135 acres of wasteland, while also providing a fair and stable income to small farmers. Avani also have a range of products using plant-based colourants, like art supplies, wood stains as well as extract and pigments for artists.
Health in Harmony - Runner up
Regenerating Rainforests by Listening to Communities
Since its founding in 2005, Health In Harmony has been working to mitigate the climate and biodiversity crises by partnering with rainforest communities and investing precisely in their climate-critical solutions to protect 8.8 million hectares of tropical rainforest across three continents. Rainforest communities' solutions are always systems-oriented, and include aspects of access to quality healthcare, access to alternative livelihood and Just Transition support (such as regenerative agriculture training), and conservation education. Using a process they have developed called Radical Listening, Health In Harmony works with communities to effectively identify solutions that realize their desire to protect and regenerate their rainforests and forest biodiversity in Indonesian Borneo, the Brazilian Amazon, and Southeastern Madagascar. By placing the knowledge of communities at the forefront, Health In Harmony recognises they not only suffer disproportionately from the impact of the climate and biodiversity crises, but also hold the key to solutions design.
This model is now being scaled through Health In Harmony’s technology platform Rainforest Exchange that encourages direct investment into Indigenous People and Local Communities’ climate-critical solutions from global citizens and governments, enabling them to invest and support and have an active role in protecting Earth's rainforest. This is combined with remote carbon monitoring technology, bioacoustic monitoring, and community determined thriving metrics to ensure transparency and program efficacy.