Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog

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    Six grantees win the 2015 Equator Prize

    Sep 28, 2015 | No Comments

    Mary Robinson and Alicia Cahuilla

    Photo of Mary Robinson and 2014 Equator Prizewinner Alicia Cahuilla

    Congratulations to this year’s Equator Prize winners! Last week, the United Nations Development Programme announced the 20 outstanding grassroots groups that won the prize for their work to advance sustainable development for people, nature, and resilient communities. We are thrilled that six current and former grantees who are among this year’s honorees. Incredible activists like you and your fellow prizewinners give us hope for our collective future.

    Movimento Ipereg Ayu – Brazil

    MundurukuIn addition to successfully demarcating the Sawré Muybu territory (creating a political imperative for the Brazilian government to permanently protect Munduruku lands), the movement was the driving force behind a groundbreaking protocol on the right to free, prior and informed consent.

    About their grant: The Tapajos Basin is home to rich animal and plant life, and over 820,000 people. But the region is threatened by mega-dam projects on the Tapajos River that would flood these biodiverse lands. A $5,000 grant in 2015 is helping the Munduruku indigenous people protect their territory against development and extractive industries, and push for official recognition of the territory by the government.

    Instituto Raoni – Brazil

    Instituto_RaoniSince 2004, the institute has protected 2.5 million hectares of indigenous lands, including the largest remaining segments of the Amazon rainforest.

    About their grant: The proposed Belo Monte dam on Brazil’s Xingu River would devastate a large area of rainforest. With a $1,850 grant, Instituto Raoni worked to ensure that opposition by the Mebegokre indigenous people was heard by decision makers in Brasilia.



    Prey Lang Community Network – Cambodia
    The network uses forest patrols and smartphone technology to geo-reference, document and upload information about forest health, illegal logging and wildlife poaching. As a result of their work, the Government of Cambodia drafted a sub-decree to make Prey Land a protected forest.

    About their grant: With a $5,000 grant, the group collaborated with EarthAction Alerts Network to launch a global informational and advocacy campaign to protect the Prey Lang forest from development projects.


    Comite Para La Defensa y Desarrollo de la Flora y Fauna del Golfo de Fonseca – Honduras

    CODDEFFAGOLFThe group has successfully campaigned for the established of nine protected areas, the declaration of a 69,711-hectare Ramsar site and the creation of a vibrant, citizen-driven environmental monitoring network.

    About their grant: A donor-advised grant in 2002 helped the group support wetlands protection and encourage sustainable economic growth in rural communities.



    Moskitia Asla Takanka – Honduras

    MASTAThe group protects a large part of the remaining intact rainforest in Honduras, approximately 1.2 million hectares or 7% of the national territory.

    About their grant: We have given many grants Moskitia Asla Takanka to help Miskito people demand title to their land. Read more about what MASTA has achieved here.




    Yunnan Green Watershed Management Research and Promotion Center

    YunnanFormed in response to a 1998 Lashihai dam project that flooded large areas of farmland and left the Yi indigenous people displaced, the Yunnan Green Watershed Management Research and Promotion Center has become a model of indigenous self-organization and participatory watershed management.

    About their grant: To assess the impact of hydropower dams on ethnic minority rights in western China, the group used a $5,000 grant to prepare a policy suggestion to the newly appointed state council supporting natural rights to resources and cultural rights.


    Our grantee Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador was awarded the 2014 prize for successfully steering their local economy away from clear-cutting, poaching, and new fossil fuel exploration. Read about their work.

    We congratulate all of this year’s Equator Prizewinners for making enormous strides for people and our planet. Thank you for your work and tireless energy.

    Photos: UNDP Equator Prize, Elizabeth Weber

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      Global Greengrants adds advisors in India and Pacific Islands

      Sep 25, 2015 | No Comments

      We are pleased to welcome two new members to the worldwide network of experts who recommend small grants to environmental groups. Click here to learn about our advisory boards around the globe. Shweta Narayan, Advisor to the India Advisory Board… Read more

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        Climate Change and Youth Voices

        Sep 17, 2015 | No Comments

        Special event and video screening: How will youth impact the future of climate change? Join renowned global activists for a video screening and conversation about the role young people are taking in the fight against climate chaos. Thursday, October 15,… Read more

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          Amazon women on the front lines: the Waorani

          Sep 17, 2015 | No Comments

          Words and photos by Caroline Bennett Meet the Waorani of the Ecuadorian Amazon. They are fighting for traditional life and championing alternatives to threats to their ancestral territory—one of the wildest, most biodiverse places on the planet. The Waorani have… Read more

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            Reflections on China’s grassroots environmental movement

            Sep 15, 2015 | No Comments

              By Courtney Banayad, Senior Foundation Partnerships Manager Yu Yin, the coordinator of Global Greengrants Fund’s small grants program in China, recently joined me in New York City for a series of meetings with donors on the role of grassroots… Read more

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              China’s water problem: the grassroots road to accountability

              Aug 21, 2015 | No Comments

              By Julie Dugdale Rampant water pollution isn’t breaking news in China. It’s a way of life. The images are no longer shocking: children swimming in garbage-choked lakes; waterways congested by bloated, poisoned fish rotting at the surface; industrial pipes openly… Read more

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                Sending support to Kenya’s Athi River

                Aug 13, 2015 | No Comments

                The Athi River is Kenya’s second longest waterway and one of its most endangered. Violet Matiru knows grassroots grants can help. A grant advisor in East Africa, Violet is strategically directing Greengrants to riverside communities. Her goal: to support the… Read more

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                  Hope, a fitting name for an extraordinary woman

                  Aug 10, 2015 | No Comments

                  By Kristall Laursen, Global Giving Network Manager Growing up poor in the Philippines, Hope Hervilla took a job on a banana plantation when she was a young girl. She made a mere $2 a day. It was backbreaking labor, but… Read more

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                    Afro-Colombians campaign against aerial fumigation – and win

                    Aug 3, 2015 | No Comments

                    By Carley St. Clair For 21 years, the drone of low-flying planes has been omnipresent throughout the state of Cauca, Colombia. Otherwise healthy people have had troubling breathing, babies have been born with birth defects, women have had miscarriage after… Read more

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                      The Summit on Women and Climate—a year later

                      Jul 28, 2015 | No Comments

                      By Katy Neusteter, Director of Communications A year ago today, I was boarding a flight to Bali for the 2014 Summit on Women and Climate. I’ve been thinking a lot about that moment in my life. I had an 11-month-old… Read more