We Won! (and are Winning)

Do you remember my mentioning we were amongst the finalists for the Humanitarian Water & Food Award for 2010? Well, it seems we stole the show with our Jordan work and won first place!

The Humanitarian Water and Food Award announced the 2010 winner last night, at its first ever award event held at LIFE, Faculty of Life Sciences, Copenhagen.

The prize, 10,000 Euros and a copy of the Award Statuette, was handed over to Rhamis Kent, representing The Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) for their initiative “Greening the Desert“.

Representing the Selection Committee, Professor Alfred Opubor, commented that “the initiative brings us hope. With approaches that are easy to carry out, and replicable, PRI have clearly demonstrated we can produce food where it is needed in a sustainable way”. — Water and Food Award

Aside from the very helpful 10,000 Euro prize, which will go to further our aid work in Jordan, the placing of permaculture design at top of a list of positive food and water initiatives is exciting on its own — permaculture is starting to get the recognition it deserves! Winning awards like this ensures that more and more ‘high level’ individuals and groups — people in a position to help make a real difference if they could only see both the writing on the wall and the holistic solutions available to change our course — will have our work brought to their attention.

Geoff was busy teaching in Turkey, so couldn’t go along to accept the award, and being pretty busy (and preferring not to venture too far into the limelight myself!), I asked PRI helper Rhamis Kent, who was conveniently not far away in the UK, to head over to represent us and accept the award should it turn out to be ours. Rhamis got to speak to quite a few people interested in our work. Hopefully we’ll be able to share a report from his trip with you all when he gets a moment to scribble something down.

As well as Rhamis, we would very much like to acknowledge and thank the authors of the submission for this award, Ms Ali Godfrey and Mr Matthew Salkeld. Their taking the initiative to work on the submission on our behalf is much appreciated.

Current economic realities present us with an interesting paradox. As pockets worldwide are hit, people tend to become less interested in ‘the environment’. Who can be green conscious when you’re just trying to survive? That’s where the paradox hits, and we confront permaculture. Although the interest in being ‘green’ may fall off the bottom of people’s priority lists, their interest in survival goes up. We can expect a rush towards all concepts that offer resiliency and a healthier, better way of life. There has never been a better time to get involved in whatever capacity you can.

As far as I can see, it’s permaculture, or bust.

On a related note — we can also celebrate another permaculture victory, in that Gary Caganoff’s The Garden at the End of the World documentary on the work of Mahboba Rawi and Rosemary Morrow in tragically war torn Afghanistan has won the Human Rights Award 2010. Well done Gary and all involved!