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T&T non-profit wins Superheroes of Development contest

October 20, 2022
Vetiver grass being planted along a hillside. (CMC)

CMC – An initiative using a nature-based solution to protect communities in Trinidad and Tobago from mudslides, soil erosion and flooding is one of four winners in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) 2022 Superheroes of Development contest.

IAMovement, a non-profit organisation founded in 2014, has been awarded for using vetiver grass as an eco-friendly solution. It was the only Caribbean country among the winners.

“Every year, erosion, mudslides, and floods inflict considerable social, financial, and environmental damage on communities. In past decades, a nature-based solution was used to protect Trinidad and Tobago from these disasters: vetiver. This species of bunchgrass sends down roots as deep as three meters into the soil, preventing erosion, mudslides, and floods. The project rediscovered this effective method, enabling a new generation of resilience,” the IDB said about the project in announcing the winners on Thursday.

The Superheroes of Development contest, now in its fifth year, rewards creative and innovative solutions used in development projects financed by the IDB, IDB Invest and IDB Lab (IDB Group) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year, there were 77 proposals from 23 countries. A panel of senior managers at the IDB Group selected the four winners, two in each of the contest’s two categories: projects currently being implemented and projects that ended after January 2016.

The other winners were from Mexico, Colombia and Uraguay.

The Superheroes of Development contest is organised by the BIDAcademy, the IDB Group’s centralised knowledge platform. The aim of the contest is to enhance the performance of the Bank’s projects by spotlighting the initiatives that best respond to today’s changing realities and offer timely lessons that other teams can apply.

“A fundamental dynamic at the IDB is sharing what we learn so one project can adopt another’s best practices. That is why we created Superheroes of Development. It is a contest, yes, but most of all, it is a knowledge platform,” said Lorena Rodríguez Bu, Acting Manager of the Knowledge, Innovation and Communication Sector at the IDB.

All four winners of the contest will participate in an online dialogue with the interim president of the IDB, Reina Irene Mejía, on October 24. 

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