Eleven projects announced as the winners of the 2019 LUSH Spring Prize for environmental and social regeneration

The winners of the Lush Spring Prize 2019 are being announced as part of a three day event taking place at Emerson College in East Sussex and at RichMix in London.

The prizes are awarded across four categories: Intentional, Young, Established and Influence; investing more than £200,000 in regenerative work.

What is the LUSH Spring Prize?

The LUSH Spring Prize was set up to support ‘regenerative’ projects – those which go beyond sustainability by taking holistic approaches to restoring degraded land and communities. It seeks to support those who are actively involved in restoring all the systems they are part of.

By supporting regenerative projects the Spring Prize hopes to raise the profile of the movement as a whole to inspire more individuals, groups and communities to start the regenerative process.

Now in its third year, the LUSH Spring Prize has awarded more than £600,000 to regenerative work and is a joint venture between LUSH Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer. 

The Projects

Winning projects come from Southern and Eastern Africa, South America and Europe and work in a diverse range of fields including landscape restoration, food and farming, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protecting indigenous rights, empowering women and other marginalised groups.

While projects may have different focuses they all take holistic and regenerative approaches to solving the challenges they face, with many being led by members of the communities they are working in. 

The 11 winners of the LUSH Spring Prize 2019 are:

Category Winning Projects Country
Intentional Apthapi Comunidades del Vivir Bien Bolivia
Intentional Laboratorio Sicilia 2030 Italy
Intentional Ripanu Ecuador
Intentional Verdegaia Spain
Young Alianza Ceibo Ecuador
Young Sfruttazero (Diritti a Sud) Italy
Young YICE Uganda Uganda
Established Guba Eswatini (Swaziland)
Established INSO (Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociadad de Oaxaca) Mexico
Influence ECOLISE France & Europe
Influence ZIMSOFF (Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum) Zimbabwe

You can read about each of the winners as well as all shortlisted projects from every year on the Spring Prize website. Here are just two examples:

YICE Uganda

Image: yice uganda lush spring prize 2019

YICE Uganda works with refugees in Bukompe refugee settlement and the neighbouring communities, seeking to provide smallholder farmers with access to regenerative agricultural training and flexible financial services to reduce hunger and poverty.

YICE Uganda has been working in Bukompe refugee settlement to engage the camp’s residents around sustainable farming techniques. Over 100 women farmers have been trained in Permaculture farming, and 20 Permaculture gardens have been established.

Noah Ssempijja, founder and director of YICE Uganda spoke about why he set up the project: “I was raised by a single mother, also a refugee from Rwanda and spent the early years of my life in a refugee camp, thus refugees and women issues are very close to my heart.”

YICE Uganda is a winner in the Young category.

INSO

Image: INSO lush spring prize contestant 2019

INSO was founded in 1991 to support communities with regenerative social and ecological initiatives in the diverse state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Its flagship ‘Slow Water’ project aims to address the Central Valley’s watershed crisis, where the speed with which water flows impacts on both its communities and its ecosystems.

INSO remains deeply connected to grass-roots culture, while its Oaxacan Water Forum has brought community stakeholders together with NGOs, the private sector, and governmental and academic institutions. It takes an integrated approach by combining traditional wisdom and community organisation with modern knowledge and techniques.

At its heart is a belief that we should view “nature and society as inseparable”.

INSO is a winner in the Established category.

Image: judge lush spring prize standing in front of audience smiling
Warren Brush, a judge of the Lush Spring Prize.

Warren Brush, Spring Prize Judge:

“As a judge for the Spring Prize, I am both fortunate and honoured to get to read through all the prize applications from an incredible web of organizations and people who are actively creating a better world that is filled with life giving purpose, equitability, and right action.

My only regret was not being able to fund every amazing organization that applied for these grants from LUSH.

May LUSH’s efforts to support resilient social, economical and ecological systems inspire other companies and individuals to generously give to these and other organization's efforts around the globe that are positively changing the world through regeneration.”

Precious Phiri, Spring Prize Judge:

“The different Spring Prize applications keep reinforcing a need for us to celebrate this fact; The change we desire will take many, small pockets of intentional groups of people around the world allying with nature to address nature’s complexity and to address the root cause of problems.

There’s no one size fits all!” 

Judges Awards

Each year the Spring Prize team struggles to create a shortlist of 50 and select just 11 projects for funding; concluding that it should aim to support every application and move away from being a competitive prize.

To start this process an additional £20,000 was made available in 2019 in the form of a ‘Judges Award’. This was used to support other shortlisted projects financially or through publicity work.

The Spring Prize judges also wrote a letter of celebration to recognise the valuable work of established organisations such as GRAIN, FERN, Survival International and Navdanya.

As part of the Judges Award the following four projects received £4,000 each:

Project Country

London Grown Workers Cooperative

UK

Uryadi’s Village

Ethiopia

INUA

Brazil

COREFLOWER: Compostopia

Greece

The Event

The first half of 2019’s Spring Prize event is taking place at Emerson College, which is surrounded by biodynamic and organic farms and demonstrates the regenerative practices embedded in parts of the English rural economy.

The second half will be held at RichMix in Shoreditch, an example of how social enterprises can play a role in regenerating social landscapes in urban communities. 

The event is designed to give members of winning projects the opportunity to share their stories, expertise and ideas in an inclusive and collaborative environment. Also attending the event are Spring Prize judges, press and representatives from other organisations - selected for their relevance to the winner’s projects. 

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