54 projects from around the world have been shortlisted for the £220,000 Lush Spring Prize for environmental and social regeneration.
The 2021 Lush Spring Prize received over 400 applications, which were shortlisted to a group of 54 in June and July this year. The prize saw a 61% increase in reach, with applications being submitted by inspiring projects spanning 81 different countries and every continent except Antarctica.
This year also sees the launch of two new collaborative prizes – alongside the Spring Prize’s regular four categories: Influence, Established, Young and Intentional awards – in partnership with Be The Earth Foundation and Abundant Earth Foundation.
Although the shortlist is extremely diverse and spans multiple bioregions, interesting common themes can be identified.
Shortlisted projects were seen to be taking ownership of most or all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an integrated way, while over half of the groups were integrating ancient or indigenous wisdom in their work. Projects adapt regenerative practices as a means of achieving SDGs and other goals in a way that remains relevant to projects’ local contexts and culture. Climate Change was the most common issue being addressed – not just in terms of preventing it but adapting to and mitigating the effects that are already being felt by projects and their stakeholders.
Projects were driven by a range of stakeholders, including grassroots campaigners, small scale agro-ecological producers, regenerative businesses, indigenous groups, academics, global solidarity networks and think tanks. Their work addresses multiple issues needed to support life, including ecosystem restoration, regenerative food production, building community, creating resilient housing and circular economies, whilst also supporting displaced people, protecting indigenous rights and access to land.
The 2021 shortlist can be viewed online at springprize.org