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Shortlist for major environmental prize

Three environmental projects – from Africa, India and the UK – have been shortlisted for the prestigious St Andrews Prize.

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 $25,000 and medal for the winner and $5,000 for each of the runners up.

The finalists are:

 George Odera Outa, of the University of Nairobi, Kenya for an educational theatre project. The proposed initiative centres on Africa’s Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake. Using popular theatre techniques, the project would aim to capture indigenous wisdom that governed environmental husbandry in Black Africa’s past. It also aims to deepen the understanding of current environmental hazards while presenting solutions for redressing or reducing these problems.

 Kapil Mohan, a civil servant from Mangalore, India for a “Tiles from Waste” project. Tile-making in Karnataka, a southern state in India, was a flourishing industry until the late 1960s. This project aims to reinvigorate this industry, not by exploiting clay – which is now in short supply – but by using iron ore tailings, a waste product of mining operations. It is estimated that by making waste work in this way, up to 500 million roof tiles annually could be manufactured by Karnataka’s revived tile and brick industries.

 Juliet Jenkins, an environmental designer, from Henfield, West Sussex for a “Working Wetlands” project. This proposal aims to demonstrate the benefits of such wetlands in temperate regions. In Sussex alone it is reckoned there are 20,000 hectares of agricultural land, currently artificially drained, which as “working” wetlands would be suitable for a combination of bio- diversity and profitable crop systems. A demonstration project is proposed for four hectares of drained and grazed land at Spring Fields, in the floodplain of the River Adur in Sussex.

The St Andrews Prize, an international initiative of the University of St Andrews and nergy company Conoco, encourages the development of practical environmental ideas that combine good science, economic reality and political acceptability.

The three finalists were selected from almost 100 entries submitted from 25 countries.

The winner will be chosen at an environmental seminar to be held at the University of St Andrews on 10 and 11 May 2001. Each of the finalists will present their proposals to a panel including Sir Crispin; Sara Parkin, Director of Forum for the Future; Professor Sir John Krebs, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency; and James Currie, Director-General of DGXI (Environment), European Commission.

Last year, the 2000 Prize was won jointly by two Palestinians, Professor Hikmat Hilal and Dr Amer El-Hamouz of the An-Najah National University at Nablus on the West Bank. Their winning entry was a proposal to turn the waste from olive oil production – a significant problem in Palestine and other Mediterranean areas – into valuable by-products by means of economic and environmentally sensitive processes.

Further information about The St Andrews Prize can be obtained from The St Andrews Prize Office, External Relations, University of St Andrews, 82 North Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, Scotland (Telephone 01334 462161, Fax 01334 462590, E-mail prize@st- andrews.ac.uk or via The St Andrews Prize website – http://www.thestandrewsprize.com.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: prize2001shortlist/standrews/chg/10 april2001

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