NESFAS was honored with the 2021-IFAD Indigenous Peoples Award

Shillong, Feb 15: NESFAS was honored with the 2021-IFAD Indigenous Peoples Award on Monday, the 15th of February 2021. The other finalists were Safari Doctors from Kenya, Africa and Cabildo Indigena de Guambia, Columbia.

Pius Ranee, Executive Director of NESFAS, represented the organisation in a virtual award ceremony which was commemorated by IFAD during the 5th Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples Forum at IFAD in Italy, Rome on the same day.

The Award Ceremony concludes a process which started in August 2020 under the members of the Steering Committee of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD. (

The Indigenous Peoples Awards, organized by IFAD’s Indigenous Peoples Team in partnership with the members of the Steering Committee of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD and of the Board of the Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF), are awarded biennially to recognize the efforts and the achievements of development projects that successfully engage with indigenous peoples living in rural areas.

As if in direct response to this challenge, NESFAS’ ongoing project which is funded by the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited Foundation “No One Shall Be Left Behind Initiative: Biodiversity for Food, Nutrition and Energy Security for 3000 households in Meghalaya and Nagaland” was selected as the winner of the 2021 IFAD Indigenous Peoples Award for the category ‘’best performing non-IFAD-funded project’’. The project submission showcased a two-year activation by the organisation and its partners in 130 villages.

The overall goal is to enhance indigenous food systems to significantly contribute to improved nutrition, food security and sustainable livelihoods. It has showcased innovative ways in which simple agendas can make a impact on adolescent girls, school children, youth, women’s groups and community elders who are also traditional knowledge holders.

This project is intended to give a boost to the rural and remote landscapes and its indigenous food systems with renewable energy, community mobilisation and infrastructure strengthening that offers suitable and sustainable models for change. While being innovative the keyword is also to see how they can be meaningful ways of restoring, regenerating and building the resilience of local actions for food, nutritional and renewal energy security, eventually resulting in community wellbeing.

After its nomination for the award, a budget of about US $5,000 was allotted to the organisation for the production of a professional video to document its good practices and successful experiences.

The NESFAS film “Sacred Futures-The NESFAS Story” itself was a unique production of partnership between its team, mentors, remote advice from film-maker Roger King from the United States and a local production team of The Hillspeople Collective in Shillong, Meghalaya, India. The video was then screened during the virtual award ceremony.

The awarded projects will gain visibility and recognition throughout IFAD and its network of partners. The awards aim to establish that the Indigenous peoples hold valuable knowledge and traditions that provide solutions to major challenges. Their exclusion and marginalization threatens the central tenet of the 2030 Agenda – to leave no one behind.

The film “Sacred Futures-The NESFAS Story” will be premiered on the NESFAS channel (@NESFASchannel) at 3:00PM IST on Wednesday (February 16, 2021).

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