ECOTIERRA selected as semi-finalist for the 2016 Fuller Challenge

SHERBROOKE, Quebec (July 12, 2015) – ECOTIERRA and its Shade Coffee & Cocoa Reforestation Project has been announced as a 2016 Semi-Finalist in the Fuller Challenge, a prestigious annual competition named “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award”. Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

ECOTIERRA is working to create a sustainable agricultural economy across the Andes cordillera, with plans to replicate our model in Cote d’Ivoire and Colombia. In addition to spurring widespread reforestation to offset carbon emissions, our agroforestry partnerships are directly contributing to the economic, social, and environmental resilience of 12,000 families in Peru.
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“ECOTIERRA’s innovative Shade Coffee and Cocoa Reforestation Project represents the type of initiative that the Fuller Challenge look to celebrate”, said Etienne Desmarais, CEO and founder of ECOTIERRA. “Working with cooperatives across Peru in the reforestation of degraded parcels not only positively impacts the environment but also improve the quality of life for the small stakeholders through the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices”

Nineteen proposals, including ours, have been selected as Semi-finalists after rigorous review for adherence to the seven-point Challenge criteria: Visionary, Comprehensive, Ecologically Responsible, Feasible, Verifiable, and Replicable. Our application has been through three rounds of vetting by the members of the Challenge Review Committee, including analysis and evaluation by an interdisciplinary team of experts and advisors.

“Each of these projects deserve the attention of the world for their commitment to ‘solving for system’ – an approach that takes an unusual degree of insight, patience, tenacity and courage”, said Elizabeth Thompson, The Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Executive Director. “The teams behind these initiatives have made extraordinary efforts to define the systemic context underlying the problem they are seeking to solve, and have designed strategies that provide enduring and sustainable solutions. Each is a remarkable example of the transformative power of individual initiative and provide much needed hope by demonstrating that solutions to our most entrenched problems are indeed at hand.”

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