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Shortlist for £100,000 environmental prize

The St Andrews Prize for the Environment

Three environmental projects have been shortlisted for the prestigious St Andrews Prize 2012, following receipt of 208 entries from 60 countries.

This is the first competition since the announcement that the prize value has risen from £78,000 last year to its highest ever value of £95,000.

Now in its fourteenth year the primary objective of the prize is to find innovative solutions to environmental challenges. The solutions should be combine good science, economic reality and political acceptability.

The projects have been selected by a distinguished panel of environmentalists, scientists and industrialists, led by Sir Crispin Tickell, Convener of the Government’s Panel on Sustainable Development. The prize carries an award of £63,000 for the winner and £15,800 for each of the two runners up.

The finalists are:

  • Lion Guardians: A participatory approach to conservation

    The Lion Guardians have created an entrepreneurial solution through employment and empowering communities to conserve lions as a long-term livelihood strategy. They employ 32 non-literate Maasai warriors in Kenya as community conservationists and field biologists.

    The programme’s activities includes literacy training for the Maasai, mitigating lion-livestock conflict, monitoring lion populations by combining traditional and modern tracking with high levels of local participation, preventing lion killing by employing local leaders and the naming of lions by the Maasai, as familiarity breeds ownership.

  • Ozone-based water purification technology

    This project aims to deliver non-chemical, low carbon and reliable water purification technology to a global market. The superiority of ozone-based technology over other treatment methods is scientifically accepted and widely acknowledged but capital costs, energy requirements and unit size have previously restricted application.

    This technology overcomes these hurdles and can deliver safe, clean water to kitchen taps, industrial processes and in emergency aid situations, at significantly lower energy and capital costs than established alternatives.

  • Sanergy: Providing sustainable sanitation in urban slums

    Eight million people in the slums of Kenya lack access to adequate sanitation, causing four million metric tons of untreated human waste to be discharged into the surrounding soil and waterways.

    Throughout the slums, Sanergy is building a dense network of small-scale high quality sanitation centres located close to homes. The waste from these toilets is collected in 30 litre containers. Each day Sanergy employees collect the full containers, transport them to the central processing facility and replace them with clean empty containers.

    The waste is used to produce organic fertiliser and electricity through biogas. New technologies are also being developed to convert the waste into bio-char and animal feed.

Sir Crispin Tickell, Chairman of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment Trustees, said: “We are delighted that the Prize has become so well established and in this, our fourteenth successive year, it continues to attract such a range of innovative projects from all over the world. We very much look forward to meeting this year’s finalists and to hearing about their projects which aim to help make the world a better place.”

The finalists’ presentations will be heard at a seminar at the University of St Andrews in April and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, 25 April 2012.

The St Andrews Prize for the Environment is an international initiative by the University of St Andrews and international integrated energy company ConocoPhillips.

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