Every two years the Equator Initiative partnership awards the prestigious Equator Prize to outstanding local and indigenous community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Equator Initiative is dedicated to celebrating successful local initiatives at the poverty-biodiversity nexus, creating opportunities for sharing community experiences and good practice.
Wednesday night in Rio de Janeiro, the prestigious prize was awarded to twenty-five local and indigenous community initiatives from around the world at a gala event hosted by UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark. The 2012 winners included a fisher’s association from Senegal working to legally recognize local fishing rights, a collaborative initiative in Fiji working to reduce deforestation, and a group of women in Tajikistan striving to overcome the civil war through the promotion of farmer field schools.
The evening was presided over by Edward Norton, UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, and Camila Pitanga, Brazilian actress and environmental advocate, with Gilberto Gil, a world-renowned musician and former Brazilian Minister of Culture, providing musical entertainment following the awards ceremony. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Vicki Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director of TEBTEBBA, and Achim Steiner,UNEP Executive Director, assisted with awards presentations.
Check out all the award recipients: