An independent jury of international experts met in Dubai from 12-14 November 2008 and selected 12 winners for the 2008 Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment. The selection was made from a list of 48 initiatives, short-listed out of 436 submissions, previously reviewed by an independent Technical Advisory Committee in October 2008. The winners were all deemed to have made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life in cities and communities.
The five-member jury, chaired by Ms. Banashree Banerjee, an urban management specialist, included Dr. Beacon Mbiba of Zimbabwe, lecturer at Oxford Brooks University, UK; Dr. Paolo Salvida, a professor at Sao Paolo University in Brazil; Dr. Roberto Ottolenghi, an urban development expert from Italy; and Mr. Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality. The Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee, Dr Jose Antonio Corraliza from the University of Madrid, Spain, assisted in the deliberations, as an ex-officio non-voting member.
The jury applied seven broad and inter-linked criteria, namely: partnerships, impact, sustainability, leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, innovation within the local context and transfers. In addition they considered the relevance of each practice to contemporary challenges facing the global community. In particular, they considered responsiveness to climate change and inclusive use of technology. The jury felt that all short-listed practices were interesting and deserving. Further, they found the short-listed practices from Africa particularly interesting.
The 10 winners for the Best Practice category are:
- APROCOBU (Association for the Promotion of Cooperative Stores for Production, Selling and Supplying in Burundi); [A multi-ethnic project promoting reconciliation and alternative livelihoods to ease pressure on land due to over-reliance on agriculture. This is in a region where land shortage is one source of conflict.], BRN193-08
- Involving Indigenous People in Forest Management Decision Making, Democratic Republic of the Congo; [A partnership that transfers global positioning satellite mapping techniques for participatory resource management in indigenous forest communities.], DRC012-08
- Micro-Gardens in Dakar, Senegal; [Shows how to make small inner-city spaces agriculturally productive to reduce poverty, improve food security, increase aesthetic value and provide an input into solutions to global warming.], SEN251-08
- Marianhill Landfill Conservancy, South Africa; [A state of the art landfill addressing environmental issues including pollution and waste management and protection of nature while enhancing community benefits. Encourages sustainable land use by turning landfill areas into energy producing areas.], ZAF280-08
- The New Qingpu Practice - Sustainable Construction of Ecology and Humanity, China; [Show casing the conservation of a historic Shanghai neighbourhood taking into account cultural, environmental and social values.], CHN230-08
- Integrated People-Driven Reconstruction in Post-Tsunami Aceh, Indonesia; [A successful and participatory programme for the physical, social and economic reconstruction for tsunami survivors.], IND364-08
- Spanish Network of Cities for the Climate, Spain; [Joining more than 60 Spanish cities, a shared local climate change strategy has been developed, promoting more efficient use of energy resources in public lighting and transportation], ESP122-08
- “Heartfelt Houses” The pilot Project: Housing Consolidation and Environmental Recovery of the “Juan Bobo” Stream Basin Area, Colombia; [An initiative that relocates families from the Juan Bobo river bank, in a consultative and participatory process, resulting in better living conditions as well as environmental recovery of the river bank. ], COL241-08
- From Discontent to Collective Action: A Social Movement that Protected Balandra Bay, a social and natural icon in Northwest Mexico; [Through a citizens’ movement - involving over 18,000 citizens, plus federal, state and municipal governments’ efforts, social and policy results were achieved for the long-term protection of Balandra Bay, La Paz, preventing it from being developed into tourist and exclusive residential accomodation that would have affected 250,000 inhabitants.], MEX322-08
- Partnership in Opportunities for Empowerment through Technology in the Americas –POETA, The Americas; [This practice demonstrates social use of technology by providing IT training to help overcome unemployment and social exclusion of people with physical disabilities in marginalized areas in eighteen Latin American countries.], USA009-08
For the Best Practice Transfer category, the two winners are:
- The Palestinian Housing Council, Palestine; [Has created a participatory and collaborative structure with significant results in housing, benefiting more than 5000 families and influencing national housing policy. ], PLS010-08
- Water and Sanitation Extension Program (WASEP), Pakistan; [A large scale participatory programme for improvement of safe water supply and sanitation services.], PAK342-08
Each winner will be awarded USD 30,000 as the prize money, a trophy and a commemorative certificate at an award ceremony in Dubai, early in 2009, at a date still to be announced.
The original call for Best Practices was launched in 1995 during preparations for the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) as a means of identifying what works in improving living conditions on a sustainable basis.
For more information, please contact:
Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (BLP)
P.O. Box 30030, GPO 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254 20) 7623342; 7624981
Fax: (254 20) 7623080, 7624266, 7624267
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Tel: (+971) 4 206 4414 / 221 5555
Fax: (+971) 4 222 1319 / 224 6666