ACT Alliance awards best work to mitigate the effects of climate change

The ACT Alliance Climate Change Award for 2013 was given May 21st to RDRS Bangladesh for best practice in its project, alleviating poverty through disaster risk reduction, which has been implemented in North West part of Bangladesh.

Speaking at the award ceremony at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, John Nduna, ACT’s General Secretary said:  “As an alliance, we clearly have lot of expertise and knowledge on how to reduce disaster risk and adapt to climate change. This, we believe, is expertise that is worth sharing.”

The Climate Award was received by Dr Salima Rahman, Executive Director, RDRS Bangladesh and Morzina Begum, Shapla Boro Khata Union Federation, part of RDRS Bangladesh. RDRS is a member of ACT Alliance.

“The award means a lot for us, especially for our staff and program participants. It gives us a continued encouragement to work in disaster prone area where people continuously struggle with floods, storms and droughts.  In these disasters women and children are affected the most. If we continue to capacitate women we can reach those who need the help. Receiving this award gives us inspiration to continue with this work.” said Salima Rahman when receiving the Climate Award.

“One of the added values of a network like the ACT Alliance is the ability to stimulate mutual sharing, learning and capacity-support among and for its members. The ACT Alliance Climate Award will certainly inspire action by ACT members and others on the ground,” adds Nduna.

For this year’s award, a total of 17 submissions were made by ACT members from Burundi, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Haiti, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Switzerland. These projects ranged from community based climate change resilience and adaptation initiatives to comprehensive disaster risk reduction initiatives.

“The project, alleviating poverty through disaster risk reduction, represents an excellent example of linking relief, rehabilitation and development by enhancing local communities’ self-help mechanisms, early warning and individual support to households that are most at risk,” said Peter Rottach, the chair of the ACT community of practice on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

The ACT Alliance community of practice on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development is a group of members that are involved in work on climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction in different parts of the world. This group is responsible for coordinating the award, which is offered once every two years.

Four other projects submitted by Church World Service (Africa), Christian Agency for Rural Development (India), Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (Tanzania) and the National Council of Churches of Kenya were shortlisted for their notable work.

The next ACT Alliance Climate Award will be given in 2015.