The St Andrews Prize for the Environment

University of St Andrews


30 April 2018

2019 St Andrews Prize Opens For Entries

2019 St Andrews Prize Opens For Entries

The University of St Andrews and independent exploration and production company ConocoPhillips announce the call for entries for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2019.

Applications are invited from individuals, multi-disciplinary teams or community groups for this annual prize, which is $100,000 USD and the runner(s)-up will receive $25,000 USD.

Anyone wishing to enter the 2019 Prize should complete the online entry form via this website by Friday, 25 May 2018. The shortlisted entries will be invited for a more substantial submission later in the year. Three submissions will then be selected as finalists and they will be asked to attend a seminar at the University of St Andrews in February 2019. Following presentation of their projects in English to the Trustees and invited delegates at the seminar, the winner will be selected and announced.

The primary objective of the Prize is to find innovative solutions to environmental challenges across the world. The solutions should be practical, scalable and able to be replicated in other places, combining good science, economic reality and political acceptability. The Prize offers people from all backgrounds around the world the chance to help transform their environmental ideas into reality and provides a network of connections and support.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chair of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment Trustees says: ‘I am very excited to have been appointed as the new Chair for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment. In this its 21st anniversary year, we are making changes to the application date and timing of the event with a view to maximising the impact of the Prize. I would encourage anyone with a project that meets our entry requirements to seize this opportunity and apply now. The Prize will provide a real opportunity to showcase diverse environmental projects and its funding and network will help you achieve your full potential.’

The 2018 winner of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment was The Mountain Institute, Peru – Restoring Ancient Water Technologies. Their project integrates 2,000 years of indigenous knowledge of water management in the Andes with contemporary science and technology to create hybrid solutions that improve water security, support livelihoods and increase ecosystem-wide resilience in mountain communities.

Healthy mountain ecosystems help buffer the impacts of climate change for local communities, wildlife and downstream populations worldwide. Mountain people rely on their surrounding environment for water, food, pasture and the raw materials that are the foundation of their livelihoods. Further downstream, towns and cities depend on mountain water for drinking, agriculture and industry.

In 2013, The Mountain Institute, Peru began working with communities in the Nor-Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve affected by increasing water scarcity. They discovered the existence of a vast, complex and partially abandoned hydraulic system to manage water in the alpine high-plateau, or puna. Through a complex system of dams and open earth canals, the systems increased soil and ground water storage, creating niche pant communities for camelid herds, and improved water supplies to irrigation systems.

Based on the experience and evidence gained, the group propose to reduce the vulnerability of mountain communities to increasing water scarcity by restoring the ancestral hydraulic systems and principles. Their objective is to increase the availability of tools, case studies, methods/information and building and strengthening the capacities of networks of scientists and indigenous organisations to co-design and implement the restoration of this ancestral water system.

The St Andrews Prize for the Environment is a joint environmental initiative by the University of St Andrews in Scotland, which attracts scholars of international repute and carries out world-class teaching and research, and independent exploration and production company ConocoPhillips. Recognising significant contributions to environmental conservation, since its launch in 1998, the Prize has attracted more than 5,400 entries from around the world and donated approximately $2 million USD to environmental initiatives on a wide range of topics including biodiversity, sustainable development, urban re-generation, recycling, health, water and waste, renewable energy and community development. The submissions for the Prize are assessed by eminent Trustees from science, industry and government.

Full details about the Prize, the entry process and eligibility criteria are available on the website or from the St Andrews Prize for the Environment office at St Andrews University on Tel + 44 (0)1334 462161.