In the lead up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme launched ‘What you know inspires - volunteering matters for sustainable development’, a contest aimed to highlight volunteer contributions to sustainable peace and development. Two good practices have been selected as the winners and announced today by Flavia Pansieri, Executive Coordinator of UNV.
In March 2012, serving and former UN Volunteers and UN Online Volunteers were encouraged to share their good practices demonstrating community participation in addressing environmental issues, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction.
Out of the 38 submissions received, two good practices have been selected and announced today as the winners. They have been chosen for their innovative aspect, the sustainability of their initiative and the impact that community volunteerism has had in addressing development issues.
UN and other global leaders have repeatedly highlighted the need for the engagement of volunteers and communities to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development. As these good practices show, a strong people-centred approach to development through voluntary action is already happening in the field, integrating social, economic and environmental transformation.
The winners of the contest are:
Glengoffe, Jamaica: The 'Community-Based Adaptation (CBA)' projects which were designed to enhance resiliency to the impacts of climate change on communities in ten countries that are highly dependent on natural resources and ecosystems – Bangladesh, Bolivia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Namibia, Niger and Samoa. This initiative will be showcased at Rio+20, represented by Ms Michelle Curling-Ludford, national UN Volunteer in Jamaica.
Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan: The 'Combating Tuberculosis' Project in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, where almost 3,000 community volunteers have been trained on household income generating activities and community volunteer action, and have provided information on the risks of tuberculosis to support their communities in the ecological disaster area of the Aral Sea. This story, represented by Ms Gemma Carnacete, former UN Volunteer from the Philippines, will be showcased at the Rio+20 Conference.