Rush and Reed Conservation and Diversification Program
The Committee for People's Rights (Podujana Himikam Kamituwa), a local NGO based in Kalutara District, southwestern Sri Lanka, has pioneered the reintroduction of rush and reed species to household paddy fields for processing into value-added handicraft products.
The Rush and Reed Conservation and Diversification Program aims to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, to protect indigenous and traditional knowledge associated with traditional handicrafts, to conserve biodiversity and wetland ecosystems through a participatory approach, and to provide opportunities to the local population for alternative income-generating avenues. Since 1999, the initiative has provided training for more than 2,500 households in 11 districts in Sri Lanka; those involved in the program have seen average monthly household incomes double thanks to improved production techniques and marketing support.
Equator Prize Winner: 2004
Location: Horana, Kalutara District
Beneficiaries: 800 people work directly with the program
Biodiversity: Rush and reed plants, wetlands
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Equator Prize 204
Asia And The Pacific
Ecoagriculture and Food Security
Mr. Piyasoma Benthota and Mr. Dhanesh Wisumperuma
Committee for the Peoples Rights
"Gamagedara " Athgalakandha, Gurugoda, Horana
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