Star-studded event in New York honours indigenous community groups from around the world

Sep 23, 2014

UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Connie Britton (second from right) joins Equator Prize winning representatives of indigenous organizations

Awards given for outstanding achievements in sustainable development
New York City, USA – 22 September 2014
On the eve of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit,thirty-five local and indigenous community groups from across the developing world received awards last night for their outstanding achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

More than 2,500 people gathered for the star-studded award ceremony hosted by actors UN/UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Connie Britton and Edward Norton at the Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

Over 40 representatives of 26 of the winning groups travelled to New York to take to the stage and receive their awards in person, and a series of short films narrated by actor Alec Baldwin featuring winning projects in Nepal, Kenya, and Ecuador were screened. The evening also featured performances by musicians Feist, Jackson Browne and Bon Iver.

“The efforts and resources of us all are needed to respond to global challenges like climate change,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark in her address to the audience. “Those we honor tonight show how indigenous and local communities can lead the way. They are on the front lines of the struggle for sustainable development.”

See the video of her address here:

Others speaking at the event echoed this sentiment, with speeches from influential global figures including former US Vice President Al Gore, UN Peace Messenger Jane Goodall, and founder of Bill McKibben.

Following a global call for nominations, the Equator Initiative received a record-setting 1,234 nominations from 121 countries around the world this year.

Each of the winners received $5,000 (USD), with several selected for ‘special recognition’ and an additional $15,000 (USD). 

More information, including a full list of 2014 winners, can be found at

UNDP Around the world