As part of its campaign to highlight the growing threat of desertification, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is offering a US$200,000 prize for outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment.

In keeping with World Environment Day’s theme this year, the annual Sasakawa prize will go to a group or individual involved in the fight against desertification.

Those shortlisted include a nomad’s co-operative from Mauritania and an ecological architect from Colombia.

“None of these environmental leaders is yet an internationally recognised name, though they may all be destined to become so,” said UNEP’s deputy director, Shafqat Kakakhel.

“However, we feel that their exemplary work in the field of environmental conservation and sustainable development related to this year’s World Environment Day theme of deserts and desertification deserves recognition and support.”

Sam Bond

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