Energy Globe Award for the Environmental Foundation Global Nature Fund

The Energy Globe Award – an internationally acclaimed and renowned environmental prize for resource management, energy efficiency and renewable energies – has found its way to Lake Constance. The environmental foundation Global Nature Fund was presented with the Energy Globe Award for two of their projects in Burundi and Colombia.

Udo Gattenlöhner, Beatrice Erhart and Michael Bauer
Radolfzell, 26 July 2017: The international organisation Global Nature Fund (GNF) has been working for the protection of environment and nature for almost 20 years now. Our efforts were rewarded when two successful projects in Burundi and Colombia were recently recognised with the prestigious Energy Globe Award. At the award ceremony in Radolfzell, GNF’s director Udo Gattenlöhner explained that the GNF promotes the conservation of environment and nature globally, reaching out from Lake Constance into the whole world, so to speak. Our projects in Burundi and Colombia are perfect examples for the vital role local actions can play in environmental protection and climate change mitigation. Additionally, they highlight the importance and effectiveness of close collaboration with local partners and communities. We are very honoured that two of our projects were awarded with this prestigious environmental prize.

With over 178 participating countries and more than 2,000 project submissions annually, the Energy Globe Award is an internationally renowned environmental prize. The annual award was launched by its founder Wolfgang Neumann in 1999. In addition to serving as a knowledge exchange platform, the award also aims at providing information on international projects working on sustainable resource management, energy efficiency and renewable energies. Since 1999, exceptional sustainable projects are recognised with the award, which is under the patronage of UNESCO. Beatrice Erhart, project manager at the Austrian Economics Centre in Stuttgart and national ambassador for the Energy Globe Award, was in charge of the award presentation in Radolfzell. The award is primarily a result of the dedication and creativity shown by all the people who strive for the protection of our future and our planet. Their projects are vital for a sustainable way forward, providing hope and inspiration, as well as resulting in solutions that can be applied elsewhere if needed. Consequently the award is also reward and motivation for GNF’s project partners, who feel proud of the distinction by the Energy Globe Awards.

Firewood for a better life – Energy Globe Award Burundi
The first national prize was awarded to the project "Reduction of Deforestation by Planting Trees and Introducing Improved Cooking Stoves". In Burundi, a country which was shaken by civil conflicts in the past, there is still a significant lack in available mechanisms to meet the basic needs of the population. The high population density and inefficient use of natural resources lead to deforestation, soil erosion and the loss of habitats. In collaboration with our partner organisation Biraturaba and local communities, over 60,000 indigenous seedlings were planted. In addition, 1,000 improved, energy efficient stoves were built and installed. Due to the efforts of this project, underprivileged households have easy access to firewood and forest areas of Burundi are protected from illegal logging.

Clean water with green filters – Energy Globe Award Colombia
The second national prize was awarded to the project "Green Filters – Innovative & cost-efficient systems for water purification benefitting people and the environment in Colombia". Felipe Valderrama, project leader at our partner organisation Fundación Humedales, summarised the local challenges: „Although Colombia in theory has sufficient improved water sources, inefficient and unsustainable water resource management over the past 20 years have reduced the amount of readily available, potable water to only 40 % of what potentially could be accessible. The remaining 60 % are unsuitable sources of drinking water, due to weather conditions and more importantly, contamination. In 2015, GNF and the Fundación Humedales set up three so called Green Filters to treat the sewage of Cuìtiva, Fúquene and Susa with a total population of over 1,500 people. The waste water from these communities passes through a series of canals, in which aquatic plants are utilised as bio-filters. The Green Filters require minimal maintenance and energy, but still remove up to 95 % of harmful nutrients and pathogens from the water, making this a viable solution for sewage treatment in rural areas of developing countries.

Project funding in Germany
The project in Burundi was subsidised by CO2 compensation funds from the State Government of Baden-Württemberg via the Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg (Foundation for Development Collaboration - SEZ). Additional financial resources were provided by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe and Rapunzel Naturkost as part of the Hand-in-Hand Fund. The Green Filter project in Colombia was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Collaboration and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung - BMZ). The project was also supported by our sponsors Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG and the Stiftung Ursula Merz. Our project partner, the Fundación Humedales, received subsidies from the Sika AG.

Since its launch in 1998, the GNF has been active in developing countries, where we have established cutting edge projects in the subject areas water, resource management and energy efficiency, in order to enhance living conditions for the local population. Further information on GNF and our projects at:

Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Udo Gattenlöhner, Executive Director
Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4, 78315 Radolfzell, Germany
Phone: +49 7732 9995 80, Fax: +49 7732 9995 88