David J. Booth and Nengah Ardika Adinata of the East Bali Poverty Project were recently awarded a "first prize" at the Third International Vetiver Conference in Guangzhou, China for their groundbreaking work in the use of vetiver grass in helping to break the cycle of poverty in one of Bali's most economically deprived regions.
The award, presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, the Patron of The Vetiver Network, was presented to the two representatives of the East Bali Poverty Project "for outstanding contributions to the research and development of the Vetiver System" for sustainable development in Bali.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) is a species of grass which can absorb harmful nutrients emanating from waste of all kinds – from pig effluent to leachate from garbage landfills, can avert serious verge erosion, and be used for the production of handicrafts and perfumes.
East Bali Poverty Project first introduced vetiver in March of 2000 in 19 hamlets in East Bali. The plant's cultivation has helped reduce erosion on sandy road verges, enhance organic farming development on previously steep and barren volcanic slopes, and provide the base material for handicraft production activities in both Bali and Lombok.
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