President Dilma Rousseff hands over the Brazil National Prize for the Millennium Development Goals to EU Project
The non-governmental organisation PANGEA – Socio-environmental Study Centre, through the project Waste Collectors Network CATA BAHIA, co-financed by the European Union in the thematic line Non State Actors and Local Authorities in Development, won the Brazilian National Prize for the Millennium Development Goals for objective 1: Reduce Poverty and Hunger.
The MDG Brazil Award is a pioneer initiative in the world and was created in 2004 in order to stimulate, valorise and visualise activities of civil society organisations and municipalities that effectively contribute to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The award procedure is being coordinated by the General Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Movement for Citizenship and Solidarity. The Technical Coordination is responsibility of the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the National School for Public Administration (ENAP). It concerns the biggest prize for Social Responsibility of the country.
The fourth edition of the Award selected 51 finalists and considered 20 initiatives of 1635 applicants. The Project Waste Collectors Network CATA BAHIA was selected as a finalist after a long evaluation process with various phases. The evaluation considered several criteria: contribution towards the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals, innovation, potential example for other initiatives, perspective of continuity and replicability, integration with public policies, community participation, partnerships, and quality of the services rendered. The prior project “Cooperative of the Canabrava Ecologic Actors” also implemented by PANGEA and co-financed by the European Union already had been chosen by the United Nations as among the 50 most successful Brazilian activities in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Project Waste Collectors Network CATA BAHIA is a project to promote social and economic inclusion of the collectors of recyclable waste. It promotes the improvement of the living conditions and the working conditions of the collectors, creating employment with the organisation, strengthening of the cooperatives, environmental education and selective waste collection in the municipalities that integrate the network. The benefits the project rendered to the target group are the furnishing of identity documents of all agents involved, significant income increase, reduction of illiteracy by 30%, withdrawal of children from the waste deposits, inclusion of the collectors and their families in municipal programmes for social assistance, socio-sanitary actions, increase of self-esteem and the development of a solid social and professional network that integrate the cooperatives.
The Award was handed over by the President Dilma Rousseff on the 30th of May 2012 in the Government Palace Planalto. The solemnity gathered political authorities from Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. Also present were Ms. Helen Clark of the United Nations Development Programme and the Ambassador of the European Union in Brazil Ms. Ana Paula Zacarias, as well as representatives of social organisations of all over Brazil.
In her statement during the solemnity of the concession of the Brazil Millennium Development Goals Award, the president Dilma Rousseff considered that the attainment of the MDGs by Brazil demonstrated that it is possible to resolve social issues without prejudice for economic growth. “We cannot dispense of the three pillars of inclusion – growth – conservation and protection”. In her view the distribution of wealth, secure employment and guarantee quality public services are essential for the growth of the country. “We can continue in this direction, because we learned that inclusive social policies are essential for growth” she declared.