Sika Sponsoring Partner GNF ("Global Nature Fund, Germany") obtained the Energy Globe Award for Green Filter Projects. These projects have been supported by Sika for some years, and focus on innovative and cost-effective systems for sewage treatment.
Green Filter in Colombia
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GNF and Sika - a strong partnership

The international organisation Global Nature Fund (GNF) and Sika have been partners since 2005. Now the efforts of the GNF and of the partnership were rewarded when two successful projects in Burundi and Colombia were recently recognised with the prestigious Energy Globe Award.

At the award ceremony in Radolfzell, GNF's director Udo Gattenlöhner explained that the GNF promotes the conservation of environment and nature globally, reaching outfrom Lake Constance into the whole world. The projects in Burundi and Colombia are perfect examples for the vital role local actions can play in environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

Additionally, they highlight the importance and effectiveness of close collaboration with local partners and communities. With over 178 participating countries and more than 2,000 project submissions annually, the Energy Globe Award is an internationally renowned environmental prize. Since 1999, exceptional sustainable projects are recognised with the award, which is under the patronage of UNESCO. The award is also reward and motivation for GNF's project partners like Sika, who feel proud of the distinction by the Energy Globe Awards.

Firewood for a better life - Energy Globe Award Burundi

The first national prize was awarded to the project "Reduction of Deforestation by Planting Trees and lntroducing lmproved Cooking Stoves". ln Burundi, a country which was shaken  by civil conflicts in the past, there is still a significant lack in available mechanisms to meet the basic needs of the population. ln collaboration with the partner organisation Biraturaba and local communities, over 60,000 indigenous seedlings were planted. ln addition, 1,000 improved, energy efficient stoves were built and installed. Due to the efforts of this project, underprivileged households have easy access to firewood and forest areas of Burundi are protected from illegal logging.

Clean water with green filters - Energy Globe Award Colombia

The second national prize was awarded to the project "Green Filters - lnnovative &cost- efficient systems for water purification benefitting people and the environment in Colombia". Felipe Valderrama, project leader at Fundaci6n Humedales, summarised the local challenges: "Although Colombia in theory has sufficient improved water sources, inefficient and unsustainable water resource management over the past 20 years have reduced the amount of readily available, potable water to only 40 % of what potentially could be accessible. The remaining 60 % are unsuitable sources of drinking water, due to weather conditions and more importantly, contamination."

ln 2015, GNF and the Fundaci6n Humedales with the support of Sika set up three "Green Filters" to treat the sewage for a total population of over 1,500 people. The waste water passes through a series of canals, in which aquatic plants are utilised as bio-filters. The Green Filters require minimal maintenance and energy, but still remove up to 95 % of harmful nutrients and pathogens from the water, making this a viable solution for sewage treatment in rural areas of developing countries.