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August 2015

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is committed to "pioneering a global supply chain approach" to fight human trafficking where exploitation and abuse remain widespread.

How can the youth in Cambodia fight human trafficking? Check out this video to see the innovative ways these Community Youth Network members brainstorm on their roles regarding this critical issue.

Winrock is helping a Nigerian agency increase energy access through improved technical oversight.

Winrock's volunteer of the month for August is Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Dr. Anil Shrestha, a professor of weed science at California State University in Fresno, Calif. Shrestha, who was born and raised in Nepal, was notably Winrock’s first volunteer in Nepal after this year’s devastating earthquake. Read more at the Winrock Volunteer blog.

From Aug. 11-13, smallholder farmers in Myanmar got a first-hand look at a new soybean variety at a demo plot created by the Value Chains for Rural Development project. The project will conduct 72 "Field Days" at 12 demo plots through Sept. 9 to help increase yields for smallholder farmers.

Miss this month's webinar about the “One Page Cost Benefit Analysis Tool”? Recently created by Farm Credit, this tool is designed to make financial decisions a little easier. Visit the webinar archive to find out how this powerfully simple tool can help your business today.

On Aug. 2, Standard Chartered Bank recognized two farmers from the Climate-Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods project in Bangladesh with the 2015 Agro Award—for integrated farming and for vermicompost application.

Jon Winsten presented Winrock's innovative work (funded by Great Lakes Protection Fund) on "Reducing Nutrient Loads from Agriculture Using Pay-for-Performance Conservation" at World Water Week on Aug. 27.

Winrock’s 2014 annual report is now available. The report provides a financial account of the organization and highlights the global impact of our projects.

Interested in working at Winrock? Search openings and post your resume. Would you like to volunteer with Winrock? Learn more about opportunities for volunteers.

Cambodian farmers reaping the rewards of rice
Four villigers work in a rice fieldCambodian farmers are finding that a variety of rice named after an endangered bird can help them build a more prosperous future. Ibis rice commands a premium price from consumers, restaurants and hotels. Communities in the Preah Vihear Protected Forest are finding it is more profitable to plant ibis rice than the traditional varieties they had been growing. The farmers enjoy higher yields per acre and higher prices at market.

The Winrock-implemented Supporting Forests and Biodiversity (SFB) project introduced Cambodian farmers to ibis rice, as well as to improved production practices and new conservation techniques. Farmers can now harvest enough rice to feed their families and sell a surplus at local markets. In 2014, farmers in the nine villages that participate in the project sold 432 tons of ibis rice for a collective profit of 76,000 USD.

“For many years living had been difficult for us,” explained one farmer. “We earned nothing and our rice yield could not feed us for the whole year. Now we have enough rice [and] last year, I sold a surplus. This cash supports my family and allows me to send my children to school.”

This has led to greater food security, and also benefits the endangered giant ibis bird. In the past, many farmers turned to poaching wild animals and illegal logging in order to earn money. These activities degraded the sensitive habitat that is critical for ibis survival. Ibis rice has reduced the need for residents to engage in environmentally destructive practices to earn a living. Both people and the planet are reaping the rewards.

SFB is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

(This is just one of the stories featured in our 2014 annual report, "Positioning for the Future," which is now available.)

Former Winrock board member called 'woman who could stop climate change'
John Kadyszewski, Christiana Figueres, and Rodney Ferguson.In the August 24, 2015, issue, The New Yorker posits that Christiana Figueres may be "the woman who could stop climate change." In her role as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Figueres is tasked with persuading the leaders of 195 countries to reduce carbon emissions.

“You know, I think that this whole climate thing is a very interesting learning ground for humanity," Figueres is quoted by the magazine. "I’m an anthropologist, so I look at the history of mankind. And where we are now is that we see that nations are interlinked, inextricably, and that what one does has an impact on the others. ... So I look at all of this and I go, This is so cool—to be alive right now!”

A former Winrock board member, Figueres was the Climate Leadership honoree at the American Carbon Registry's 2013 awards ceremony.

Competition inspires students in Georgia to consider 'green' design
Tamar BenashviliTwelve students from Georgian universities took part in the annual student architectural contest as part of the European Union’s Sustainable Energy Week in 2015. The purpose of the contest was to identify the best project focusing on sustainable development and green building principles. A “green building” is a structure created using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient construction methods throughout its life-cycle.

As part of their green building public awareness campaign, USAID-supported EC-LEDS Clean Energy Program established a special award for the Best Green Building Design. This year, the prize went to Tamar Benashvili, a student architectural student at Georgian Technical University. Benashvili’s winning design, entitled Wine Factory, detailed the construction of a wine-production facility in Kakheti, not far from Alazani river valley. Project materials included a site master plan, floor plans, facades, cross sections and scaled details. Three-dimensional views were merged with landscape photos to give a life-like feel to the plans. Among the entries submitted, Benashvili demonstrated the best understanding of pre-design study and demonstrated good survey skills, which are instrumental in good environmental design.

“I have been taking part in this contest annually, and have never won the Best Green Design Award,” Benashvili said. “My purpose was to stress that ‘popular technologies’ can also be energy efficient—including the production of wine.”

The Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) Clean Energy Program is funded by USAID and implemented by Winrock International.

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