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UN Grants Bangladeshi, South African Projects Annual Environmental Award


A Bangladeshi organization that runs a pioneering education and conservation program has won a $200,000 prize from the United Nations.

The U.N. Environment Program says its annual Sasakawa prize was jointly awarded to the Bangladeshi organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha and to the head of a South African urban forestry group.

The Bangladeshi group runs schools and libraries on boats using a river network in the remote Chalanbeel region, which is prone to annual flooding. It project director, Abul Hasanat Mohammed Rezwan says students who would otherwise not be able to attend school during the monsoon season continue their education aboard the boats.

The project also supplies villagers with solar-powered lights and it trains adults in sustainable agriculture.

The South African project, Food and Trees for Africa, is run by founder Jeunesse Park. The U.N. says her organization promotes sustainable natural resource use and management and food security.

A four-member jury chose the co-winners at a meeting at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The award ceremony will be held October 27 in New York.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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