Indigenous peoples, refugee groups and small-scale farmers from across the globe have been awarded a share of £236,000 prize money in this year’s awards by campaigning cosmetics brand Lush.
More than £200,000 has been awarded to 17 projects demonstrating responses to the climate emergency, the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of the Ukraine war in the global south.
The prize, which has been awarded every two years since its launch in 2017, seeks to celebrate and reward projects that address challenges holistically and regeneratively.
At least 14 different countries and five continents are represented among the prize-winners. This includes three countries represented among Spring Prize recipients for the first time – Colombia, Nepal and Madagascar.
Judges are drawn from a diverse range of movements that represent regenerative design, permaculture design, food sovereignty, transition towns, biomimicry, eco-village networks and various social justice movements. Lush also appoints a judge from its staff and customer base for each prize cycle.
They awarded prizes across six categories: intentional; young; established and influence awards, the Permaculture Magazine Award; and the ancient and indigenous wisdom award run in partnership with Be The Earth Foundation. The prize fund of £236,000 was shared between winners.
One of the winners under the award for established projects was the Himalayan Permaculture Centre in Nepal.
The grassroots NGO is run by farmers and operates in remote and poor farming communities in Western Nepal. Its projects are regenerative and integrate food security, health, education, livelihoods and training so that people are not forced to leave villages due to poverty.
The Taniala Regenerative Camp in Madagascar was a winner in the intentional category. It aims to support forest regeneration by promoting sustainable agriculture techniques.
In 2022, it set up its first regenerative camps in Lambokely, a village where migrants live after fleeing famine and drought, and where slash-and-burn cultivation is common and as a result, leading to deforestation.
The Instituto Janeraka in Brazil won the ancient and indigenous wisdom award for its work with the Awaete people, whose population had been in contact with the global society for less than 50 years.
As a result, they faced numerous psychological and ecological challenges, which have worsened with the construction of hydroelectric power plants and mining activities.
The institute has launched several projects, such as a knowledge exchange program between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, and art and media projects.
Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for The Ecologist. She tweets at @Cat_Early76. For the full list of winners, and more information about projects, see here.