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World Challenge 2007 announces finalists after record number of nominations


World Challenge 2007 – one of the world’s most exciting business and community project awards - has announced its 12 finalists for this year’s competition.

Entries from Nepal, Mexico, Uganda, Indonesia, Brazil, Haiti, Columbia, Peru, Afghanistan and Vietnam have made it to the final of World Challenge 2007, a competition run by BBC World, the BBC’s international news and information television channel, and Newsweek, the weekly global current affairs magazine, in association with Shell.

The World Challenge 2007 finalists are (alphabetically by country):

• Afghanistan: Arghand – Finding an alternative cash crop to the opium poppy

• Brazil: Brasmazon and Coopemaflima – Planting the seeds of beauty

• Brazil: Ider Project – Saving Brazil’s coastlines

• Colombia: Maderas Para La Paz – Building sustainable peace

• Haiti: Ecole Paradis des Indiens – Environmental and economic ways of reducing poverty

• Indonesia: The Masarang Palm Sugar Factory – Providing an alternative to wood in the sugar industry

• Mexico: Mitz Bags – Sweet wrappers recycled for high fashion

• Nepal: Foundation for Sustainable Technologies (FoST) –- Bringing sustainable energy to Nepal

• Nepal: MEND - Creating affordable opportunities for disabled people

• Peru: T'ikapapa – Highlighting the value of local produce

• Uganda: Maka – Ensuring gender equality in education

• Vietnam: Sa Pa Essentials (SPE) – Boosting income with medicinal plants

Full project descriptions can by found on

The finalists, who will be profiled in six 30-minute programmes on BBC World and in advertorials in Newsweek, were chosen from a record 942 nominations, a 13 per cent increase on last year’s total.

World Challenge 2007 seeks to identify and reward people and businesses who bring economic, social and environmental benefits to their local communities by implementing grassroots solutions to alleviate tough global challenges, such as poverty and pollution.

The yearly competition, which was first launched in 2005, has already inspired passion within communities globally, and propelled enterprising projects and businesses into the spotlight. Since its inception, financial grants have been awarded to six projects from across the world and the competition has experienced phenomenal growth.

Interest in the competition remains strong, and traffic to the World Challenge 2007 website has greatly increased with nearly 85,000 unique visitors– an increase of 140 per cent on last year.

This year, the countries with the most nominations were India (113), Philippines (72), Nepal (69), U.S (61), Kenya (34), Egypt (27), South Africa (26), Tanzania (26), Indonesia (20) and Pakistan (20).

Chairman of the World Challenge 2007 judging panel Richard O’Brien, from strategic management consultancy Outsights, which advises organisations on the future, says, “We are constantly told we live in a world of increasing choice, and in 2007, the World Challenge judges have certainly seen their task broaden and extend! Though it made making choices harder, we were really encouraged with the wide range of subjects, geographies and ambitions emerging in this year's challenges - all whom are already winners in what they do. We also see challenges that come solely from their own locations, classic "grass roots", and those that reflect international cooperation.”

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Date : 21.06.2007
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