The Equator Initiative is a United Nations-led partnership that brings together governments, civil society, grassroots organizations, and businesses to foster resilient communities by recognizing and advancing local nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The Equator Initiative creates opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practices, develops capacities of local communities and indigenous peoples, informs policy through convening multi-stakeholder dialogues, and fosters enabling environments to replicate and scale up community action.
The Equator Prize 2019 will be awarded to outstanding local community and indigenous peoples’ initiatives that advance innovative nature-based development solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The winners will join a prestigious network of 223 leading community-based organizations from 78 countries that have been awarded the Equator Prize since 2002. Each Equator Prize winner will receive USD 10,000 and will be supported to participate in a series of policy dialogues and special events during the United Nations General Assembly and Climate Week in New York, in September 2019. The Equator Prize 2019 Award Ceremony will coincide with the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
Equator Prize 2019 Themes
This year’s Equator Prize will recognize innovative initiatives from local communities and indigenous peoples that demonstrate exceptional achievements in the areas of nature-based actions that address climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, and advance local sustainable development. Winning initiatives will be honored for their successes in:
- protect, restore and/or sustainably manage terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and thereby help mitigate and adapt to climate change by keeping ecosystems intact, and/or
- promote local models for climate-smart food and agricultural production systems, and/or
- advance nature-based alternatives to a carbon economy.
In addition, the activities of successful nominees deliver on several Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously. For example, initiatives may improve food security, reduce poverty and inequality, or provide access to clean water. Crosscutting themes for the Equator Prize 2019 include advocacy for land and water rights, social and environmental justice, and gender equality.
Local nature-based solutions for sustainable development
The Equator Prize 2019 nomination process will offer community-based initiatives the opportunity to share their work on the Equator Initiative’s web portal of local nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The platform connects communities around the world and shares local solutions that work for people and planet. Participation in this platform is optional when submitting nominations for the Equator Prize.
To be eligible for the Equator Prize 2019:
- The initiative must have been in existence for at least three years, and/or the actions taken must have been in place for at least three years.
- The nominee must be either a local community-based initiative, operating in a rural area, based in a country receiving support from the United Nations Development Programme (for a list of eligible countries, please click here); or an initiative led by indigenous peoples in any country, operating in a rural area.
- The actions taken by the nominee must be nature-based, and must deliver benefits related to two or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Equator Prize 2019 winners will be selected by an independent Technical Advisory Committee, which will assess nominations based on the following criteria:
- Impact: The extent to which the nominated initiative has resulted in measurable and positive environmental, social and economic impacts that deliver benefits towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Innovation: The extent to which the nominated initiative demonstrates new approaches and models that overcome prevailing constraints, and could offer fundamentally new approaches to adapting to and/or mitigating climate change, while advancing local sustainable development;
- Scalability and/or replicability: The extent to which the nominated initiative could be scaled up sub-nationally or nationally and/or, the extent to which the initiative can be replicated within the country and beyond;
- Resilience, Adaptability, and Self-Sufficiency: The extent to which the nominated initiative demonstrates adaptability to environmental, social and economic change, resilience in the face of external pressures, and improved capacity for local self-sufficiency;
- Reduced inequalities: The extent to which the initiative reduces inequalities in income as well as those based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status, in particular for the poor;
- Social Inclusion: The extent to which the nominated initiative includes youth, elders, indigenous peoples, and other diverse groups in the decision-making processes and the actions that affect them;
- Gender Equality: The extent to which the nominated initiative promotes the equality and empowerment of women and girls.
- Nominators are encouraged to quantify results and include data that demonstrates positive impacts in their submissions.
- Nominations may be submitted either directly by the initiative or community, by a partner organization, or by any third party that is sufficiently familiar with the activities and achievements of the initiative or community.
- Nominators must indicate whether they agree to have the solution highlighted in the Equator Initiative web portal on local nature-based solutions for sustainable development.
- Nominated initiatives will undergo a verification process that may require nominees and/or nominators to provide additional information and/or materials.
- Nominations may be submitted in: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.
- Nominations must be submitted by February 26, 2019.