Call for nominations: Equator Prize 2017 launches global search for nature-based solutions for local development

Feb 9, 2017

The ninth cycle of the Equator Prize will focus on local and indigenous groups in rural areas that have developed innovative solutions to protecting, restoring or sustainably managing nature to achieve local sustainable development. Photo: Nicky Aina / Madagascar

New York, 9 Feb – The Equator Initiative today announced its global call for nominations for this year’s Equator Prize, an international award that recognizes exceptional local solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. Nominations are open through 8 March 2017.

This ninth cycle of the Equator Prize, which is a UNDP-led partnership, will focus on local and indigenous groups in rural areas that have developed innovative solutions to protecting, restoring or sustainably managing nature to achieve local sustainable development, including food security, water security, sustainable jobs and livelihoods, and disaster risk reduction. Crosscutting themes of the Equator Prize 2017 include advocacy for land and water rights, social and environmental justice, and gender equality. The selection of winners will highlight replicability and scalability of community initiatives to achieve progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Each winning group will receive USD 10,000 and will be invited to participate in a series of national and global policy dialogues and special events during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in September 2017, culminating in an award ceremony at the beginning of Climate Week and Global Goals Week. Winning groups join a prestigious network of 208 community-based organizations from 70 countries that have been awarded the Equator Prize since 2002. Past recipients of the Equator Prize include community protected areas, agriculture and farming cooperatives, wildlife protection initiatives, local water committees, community-managed forests, and locally managed marine areas and seed banks.

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the Equator Initiative will also launch a web portal featuring local nature-based solutions to sustainable development. The portal will serve to connect communities around the world and share local solutions that work. Local and indigenous groups who are nominated for the Equator Prize 2017 will also be invited to showcase their nature-based solutions through this portal.

The Equator Prize has been supported by former Heads of State Gro Harlem Brundtland and Oscar Arias, Nobel Prize winners Al Gore and Elinor Ostrom, thought leaders Jane Goodall and Jeffrey Sachs, indigenous rights activists Vicky Tauli-Corpuz and Hans Brattskar, philanthropists Richard Branson and Ted Turner, and celebrities Alec Baldwin, Gisele Bündchen, Edward Norton, among many others.

The UNDP-led partnership for the Equator Initiative brings together the UN, governments, civil society, businesses, and grassroots organizations. Partners include the Governments of Germany, Norway and Sweden; USAID; Conservation International; Convention on Biological Diversity; Ecoagriculture Partners; Fordham University; International Union for Conservation of Nature; The Nature Conservancy; PCI-Media Impact; Rare; UN Environment Programme; UN Foundation; the Wildlife Conservation Society and UN Development Programme (UNDP).

For detailed information on nomination and selection criteria, and to submit nominations, please visit

Contact information

Jamison Ervin, Manager, Global Biodiversity Programme, Email: Tel: +1 646 781 4023

Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Email: Tel : +1 212 906 5043

UNDP Around the world