Some of the winners with Christiana Figueres

Doha, Qatar – Nine ecological projects from energy-efficient brick production in Peru to electric public transport in Sri Lanka to benefit the urban poor and address climate change were recognize at a high-level awards ceremony on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change conference this week

The Momentum for Change awards started last year at the 2011 climate change conference in Durban to recognise urban initiatives, supported by public-private partnerships which were working to reduce poverty and address climate change.

“Forget this Conference, forget the texts. These projects take us out there. They place a human face to the climate change debate,” said Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as she opened the event.

She said that the project described as Lighthouse Activities were transforming urban environments, economies and lives with their solutions to various challenges facing societies around the world.

Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said a momentum for change was building worldwide and that climate change which was affecting people’s daily lives is a responsibility of the world.

“From Mumbai to Manhattan, climate change affects us all, but it affects the poor most. They are the ones who are the least responsible,” Mr. Ban said. “We urgently need to go down the low emissions pathway.”

He said the Lighthouse Activities deliver social and environmental benefits to the poor, with strong community engagement in each project.

Kelly Rigg, chair of the advisory panel for the awards said the nine winning projects are transformational and can be replicated.

A hundred projects from around the world applied for a place in the showcase. Whittling them down to nine was a challenge for the environmental experts on the judging panel, Ms. Rigg said.

Awards went to projects in Senegal, India, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Peru, Namibia, Kenya and Uganda.

Linda Hutchinson-Jafar is Editor of Earth Conscious Magazine

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