SEED Initiative Executive Director Dr. Helen Marquard (first on left) and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner (second on left) present a UN SEED prize to Berkeley PhD candidate Jalel Sager (Energy and Resources, third from right), and other awardees from Vietnam, South Africa, and Uganda. (Photo courtesy of SEED program)
SEED Initiative Executive Director Dr. Helen Marquard (first on left) and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner (second on left) present a UN SEED prize to Berkeley PhD candidate Jalel Sager (Energy and Resources, third from right), and other awardees from Vietnam, South Africa, and Uganda.
(Photo courtesy of SEED program)

“Southeast Asia – Renewable and Adaptive Energy” (SEA-RAE) has won a United Nations SEED grant for sustainable energy development. The $5,000 grant will fund SEA-RAE’s pilot energy project of a solar-based microgrid in an island community in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

“It is a fantastic honor to receive this U.N. SEED Initiative Award,” said Jalel Sager, Ph.D. candidate in the Energy and Resources Graduate Group and SEA-RAE co-founder. “It adds credence to our cause of fostering community development by means of electrification. Electricity opens doors for social, environmental and economic outlets, and is a proven pathway out of poverty.”

The prize was formally awarded to Sager by Achim Steiner, who is the Executive Director of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the United Nations’s Under-Secretary. The ceremony took place at the UNEP’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, in October.

The SEED initiative was founded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Each year, SEED recognizes development projects that aim to better the quality of life of individuals living in poor communities in developing nations.

This year’s 34 global winners included projects in Africa, South America, and Asia. Winning organizations receive a monetary contribution along with access to resources and continuous support from SEED and the United Nations, to foster the growth of their projects.

 —Débora Silva

 


Categories: December 2013, Honors and Awards
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About Débora Silva

Débora Silva, a Brazilian journalist started her career at a television station in São Paulo, Brazil after graduating with a degree in Journalism. For four years, she worked as a reporter and producer for Extensao.Doc, a documentary news program about social and political issues. There she interviewed a wide range of people, including then president, Lula da Silva. In 2009, Débora moved to California to pursue a career as an international correspondent. She graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley with emphasis in television in May 2014.