The Hyderabad-based Deccan Development Society has won the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Biodiversity Award, one of the most coveted environmental awards in the world for the year 2020, the Indian Express reported.

This is in recognition of “the individuals who dedicate their actions and organisations for their deep commitment to preserving our planet, in each of the Foundation’s three priority areas: limiting the effects of climate change, preserving biodiversity, managing water resources and fighting against desertification,” said Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Vice President and CEO, Olivier Wenden.

The award of 40,000 euros has been given to the society “in recognition of the work of DDS women to rehabilitate degraded lands and promote biodiversity”.

The Award is one of a series of special awards for DDS announced by various groups in the last 12 months, on top of which was the UNDP’s prestigious Equator Award followed by Shinning World Protection Award for “its noble, gracious and loving efforts to improve our world.” According to The Hindu newspaper.

“The DDS feels both privileged and humbled that the women who have struggled against biting poverty, ecological degradation and social deprivation have been able to get such global ovation for their environmental excellence in the last one year,” said P V Satheesh, Director, Deccan Development Society.

Most of the women involved in the DDS project are from the Dalit caste, one of the most impoverished within Indian society.

PHOTO: A woman farmer associated with the Deccan Development Society in her fields in Sangareddy district Mohd Arif  ORIGINAL SOURCES: Indian Express, The Hindu, local reports