Deadline Extended For Global Contest Seeking Innovative Solutions For Restoring Biodiversity

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Solution Search on Track to Receive More Entries Than Any Previous Contest

Photo Credit: Jason Houston

"With more than 120 entries from over 35 countries around the world, this year’s contest is poised to surface the most exceptional solutions to the most critical agricultural and environmental challenges of our time...” says Rare CEO Brett Jenks.

The deadline to submit entries for Solution Search, a global-crowdsourcing competition showcasing solutions to critical conservation challenges, has been extended to Monday, March 13 at 9:30 am ET. Touting more interest this year than any previous contest, Farming for Biodiversity has been seeking entries from organizations whose solution support sustainable environmental, social and economic outcomes in the agricultural sector.

Since December, organizations have been vying for a shot at one of two Solution Search grand prize awards of $30,000, among other prizes. The prestigious Solution Search judging panel will now spend three months reviewing over 120 submissions from dozens of countries and narrow down the field to ten finalists. These finalists will be announced in honor of World Agriculture Day (June 11th), on Monday, June 12th, and then the public will vote to determine the winner. That winner will be announced at the Solution Search awards ceremony in September.

"With more than 120 entries from over 35 countries around the world, this year’s contest is poised to surface the most exceptional solutions to the most critical agricultural and environmental challenges of our time that, given the right tools, have the potential for tangible global impact,” says Brett Jenks President and CEO of Rare.

In addition to the two $30,000 grand prize awards, all entrants will be eligible for one of the four side prizes of up to $15,000. The ten finalists will win a trip to New York City to attend a workshop and awards ceremony alongside some of the biggest names in conservation. All prize money must be used to further the winner’s solution and organization’s goals.

The contest is run in direct partnership with IFOAM-Organics International, with additional partners Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, Save the Children, Blue Solutions, the Global Island Partnership and Panorama joining from across the globe. Solution Search also recently welcomed Patagonia, EcoAgriculture Partners, and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) as additional supporting partners in the contest. The UN’s Indigenous Peoples’ rapporteur, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and Sarah Hayes, Patagonia’s Senior Manager of Materials, Innovation & Development have joined the contest’s prestigious judging panel. Most recently, Miranda Johnson of The Economist has been added to the judging panel as well.

This contest is part of a larger project run in joint partnership by Rare and IFOAM-Organics International, and is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), a German initiative supported by The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will offer additional support to the project by linking its findings and messages to global policy making. Over three years, the partners will work together to identify these promising approaches and then host capacity-building workshops across the globe to spread these effective solutions. This workshop series, known as Campaigning for Conservation, will aim to further empower local practitioners to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and to conduct social marketing campaigns promoting behavior change in support of the identified solutions. All entries to this contest will become part of a larger network of stakeholders engaged in supporting biodiversity-friendly agriculture.

Visit to learn more, apply, or nominate a fellow organization for a chance to win a $1,000 nomination prize yourself.

About Rare
Ranked in the top 25 NGOs in the world by NGO ADVISORS, Rare is an innovative conservation organization that implements proven conservation solutions and trains local leaders in communities worldwide. Through its signature social marketing campaigns (called Pride campaigns), Rare inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their community unique, while also introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Employees of local governments or non-profit organizations receive extensive training on fisheries management, campaign planning and social marketing to communities. They are equipped to deliver community-based solutions based on natural and social science, while leveraging policy and market forces to accelerate positive environmental change through programs in clean water, sustainable agriculture, and coastal fisheries. To learn more about Rare, please visit

For more information and downloadable imagery, please visit our electronic press kit at

For media inquiries, please contact:
Julie Langlie, 410.353.4587, julie.langlie(at)bullseyecomm(dot)com


Since 1972, IFOAM - Organics International has occupied an unchallenged position as the only international umbrella organisation within the organic agriculture sector, uniting an enormous diversity of relevant stakeholders and key actors. IFOAM - Organics International implements the will of its broad-based constituency, close to 800 Affiliates in 125 countries, in a fair, inclusive and participatory manner.

IFOAM’s vision is worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound agriculture systems, which will support the projects overarching goal to mainstream biodiversity into the agricultural sector. Through their extensive experience working with smallholder farmers, family farms and cooperatives in the sector, and by building local capacity through their Leadership Courses, IFOAM has the right knowledge, expertise, institutional structure and products to support the project.

About CBD

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The Convention was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio "Earth Summit"). It remained open for signature until 4 June 1993, by which time it had received 168 signatures. The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993.

It is the UN’s main body concerned with the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.


Since 2008, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has been financing climate and biodiversity projects in developing and newly industrialising countries, as well as in countries in transition. Based on a decision taken by the German parliament (Bundestag), a sum of at least 120 million euros is available for use by the initiative annually. For the first few years the IKI was financed through the auctioning of emission allowances, but it is now funded from the budget of the BMUB. The IKI is a key element of Germany’s climate financing and the funding commitments in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Initiative places clear emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaption to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity. These efforts provide various co-benefits, particularly the improvement of living conditions in partner countries. The IKI focuses on four areas: mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the impacts of climate change, conserving natural carbon sinks with a focus on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), as well as conserving biological diversity. New projects are primarily selected through a two-stage procedure that takes place once a year. Priority is given to activities that support creating an international climate protection architecture, to transparency, and to innovative and transferable solutions that have an impact beyond the individual project. The IKI cooperates closely with partner countries and supports consensus building for a comprehensive international climate agreement and the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Moreover, it is the goal of the IKI to create as many synergies as possible between climate protection and biodiversity conservation.

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Julie Langlie
Bullseye Communications
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