March 17, 2020

Cross-sector solutions for a more sustainable future for planet and people

Manon KoningsteinEcoAgriculture Partners

Announcing the 4 winners of the Bridge Spark Fund

The Bridge Collaborative recently announced this year’s four winners of the Bridge Spark Fund. Supported by Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the Fund is an effort to support and strengthen integrated solutions for tackling the most pressing global challenges within the fields of environment, human health, and sustainable development. 

EcoAgriculture’s President and CEO Sara Scherr served on the judging panel for the low- and middle-income country impact proposals. She noted, “I was so encouraged to see the Bridge Spark framing of this prize–integrating global food systems transformation for health and sustainability, across various dimensions.”

Each winning team receives an award of $150,000 to deliver innovative solutions that simultaneously stabilize the climate, improve the food system, build healthier communities, clean up water supplies and improve the environment. The winners have proposed an impressive range of innovative solutions:

  • The University of Vermont and Health In Harmony are working together with farmers in Madagascar to adopt agroforestry and forest restoration practices in ways that target improving soils, agricultural productivity, biodiversity, livelihoods and human health.
  • The Coastal Science and Policy program at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance are collaborating with KMFRI in Kenya and the GREAT Institute in The Gambia, to adapt seaweed and other forms of aquaculture to local conditions, to improve livelihoods and to create sustainable food systems.
  • The Willamette Partnership and Center for Sustainable Infrastructure are partnering with low-income communities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest to develop sustainable, multi-purpose infrastructure projects for water, energy, transportation, and solid waste so that they are better positioned to acquire federal funding that they would otherwise have difficulty acquiring.
  • WattTime is scaling up its leading Automated Emissions Reductionsoftware solution, which allows electricity-consuming devices to automatically opt for cleaner energy, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slashing air pollution.

Heather Tallis, a founder of the Bridge Collaborative and Lead Scientist for Strategy Innovation at The Nature Conservancy, says “the winning teams are on the leading edge of a growing wave of efforts that take calculated risks and deliver positive impacts for both people and nature.”

The Bridge Collaborative is committed to ‘bigger change faster’ in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, as is EcoAgriculture Partners’ recently launched 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People initiative. 

For more information, please visit the Bridge Collaborative website.

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