WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- Operation Hope, which combats drought in Africa, has been named the winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.
The project -- operated by the Africa Center for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe and the Savory Institute in Albuquerque -- employs a strategy that transforms parched and degraded Zimbabwean grasslands and savannas into lush pastures with ponds and flowing streams, officials said.
Operation Hope was awarded the $100,000 prize Wednesday during a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an international competition recognizing initiatives that radically advance human well being and the health of the planet's ecosystems.
A Berlin company, Watergy, was named runner-up of the 2010 competition for developing and implementing a closed system greenhouse that provides efficient farming capabilities in water-scarce communities.
The other finalists were:
-- India's Barefoot College, which teaches illiterate, rural women in India and Africa to become solar engineers.
-- BK Farmyards of New York, which advances urban farming as a viable business and food source for local communities.
-- UrbanLab, which has re-conceived the Chicago street-grid as a holistic bio-system that captures, cleans and returns 100 percent of the city's waste and storm waters to the lakes.
-- The Living Building Challenge of Seattle, which has developed the most advanced green building rating system in the world.