Saturday, June 26

The Green Oscars

Indians have won two of the four Ashden Awards 2004, considered as Green Oscars, and a cash of 30,000 pounds each for their inspirational and innovative renewable energy projects.

* Goverdhan Rathore, founder of the Prakratik Society in Ranthambhore in Rajasthan, bagged the Climate Care Award and the cash prize for providing villages around the Ranthambhore Tiger reserve with a cleaner, greener alternative to firewood for cooking, in the form of bio-gas.

* Hemant Lamba and his team at the international township of Auroville in Pondicherry succeeded in delivering affordable and reliable renewable energy products and services (in the form of solar panels) in 12 states, benefiting 80,000 people.

* Binu Parthan of IT Power received a runners-up prize of 7,500 pounds for designing a pioneering smoke-free, fuel-efficient stove that cuts the wood requirement by 70 percent.

Background on Ashden Awards:
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy were created in 2001 by the Ashden Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. For the first two years, the awards were presented in association with the Whitley Awards for Conservation. The success of the renewable energy awards encouraged the Ashden Trust to set up an independent scheme and to increase the number of awards, thanks to contributions from four other Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

Due to their success, the awards have expanded in number and geographical coverage. This is the second year to include projects in the UK, recognising that industrialised countries need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2003 are presented in association with Green Futures, the UK's leading magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, and its parent organisation, Forum for the Future. Forum for the Future was founded in 1996 by three of the UK's leading advocates of sustainable development - Jonathon Porritt, Sara Parkin and Paul Ekins. The charity aims to accelerate the building of a sustainable way of life, taking a positive, solutions-oriented approach.

* Ashden Awards International Finalists 2004

* Picture Gallery of Finalist