Today marks the first step in a worldwide search to identify leading community-based initiatives from across the developing world that advance environmental conservation while fighting poverty. Nominations are open from 146 countries through March 22, 2014.
“We are looking for local environment and development solutions that are having a big impact,” said Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). “Communities across the planet are coming up with inspiring solutions to environment, climate, and poverty challenges, and we want to bring their efforts to the world’s attention.”
Past recipients of the Equator Prize over the last 12 years have come from more than 60 dif! ferent countries and included community protected areas, agriculture and farming cooperatives, wildlife protection initiatives, local water committees, community-managed forests, locally-managed marine areas and seed banks.
The Equator Prize – which has been supported by former heads of state Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway) and Oscar Arias (Costa Rica), philanthropists Ted Turner and Richard Branson, a host of Nobel laureates, and celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Edward Norton – is unique for recognizing collective action rather than individual achievement.
The Equator Prize 2014 will be awarded to twenty-five community-based organizations from across the world, each of whom will receive a cash prize, with five selected for ‘special recognition’. The theme of this cycle of the Equator Prize is local climate action.
Winning communities will be recognized at a high level Academy Awards-style event and supported to participate in a commun! ity meeting during the UN General Assembly and Climate Summit in New York in September 2014.
The Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the UN, governments, civil society, businesses, and grassroots organizations to advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.
Partners of the initiative include: Conservation International; Convention on Biological Diversity; Ecoagriculture Partners; Fordham University; German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; IUCN-International Union for Conservation of Nature; The Nature Conservancy; PCI-Media Impact; Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rare; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); UN Environment Programme; UN Development Programme (UNDP); and UN Foundation; and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).