New York, USA - The Equator Initiative announced yesterday the names of twenty-five local community groups to receive the Equator Prize 2012 in recognition of their outstanding contributions to sustainable development. The winners were selected from 812 nominations submitted by communities in 113 countries across the developing world.

The winners will be celebrated at a high level event during the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. They will receive a monetary award and participate in a ‘community summit’ that will run in parallel to the larger conference.

“We wanted to make this a truly global award, so expanded eligibility to all countries receiving support from UNDP. The overwhelming response from 113 countries in 13 languages tells us there is a world of community-based innovation out there, and that demand for a better future transcends borders,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.

“These community efforts are heroic and inspiring. And that is what the Equator Prize is all about – shining a spotlight on the women and men on the front lines of sustainable development. At UNDP, we are so deeply proud of leading this initiative and giving communities a voice.”

Many of the foundational issues to be discussed at the landmark Rio+20 Conference are represented in the pool of winners: food security, sustainable jobs, freshwater access, sustainable energy, oceans, and more.

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.

The Equator Prize, which has been endorsed by former Heads of State Gro Harlem Brundtland and Oscar Arias, philanthropist Ted Turner, a host of Nobel laureates, and celebrities Gisele Bündchen and Edward Norton, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year.

Current partners of the initiative include: Conservation International; Convention on Biological Diversity; Ecoagriculture Partners; Fordham University; German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; International Union for Conservation of Nature; The Nature Conservancy; Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rare; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); UNEP; UNDP; and UN Foundation.

Appendix –Equator Prize 2012 Winners - Asia and the Pacific:
Chunoti Co-Management Committee protects the once-degraded Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary by coordinating volunteer patrols and reinvesting ecotourism revenues into conservation and community works projects. The group has created a leading model of successful protected area co-management in Bangladesh.

Kangmei Institute of Community Development and Marketing in China promotes medicinal plant and herb cultivation techniques which have raised local incomes, created jobs and protected endemic wildlife, including the giant panda.

Namdrik Atoll Local Resources Committee in the Marshall Islands advances innovative techniques in shoreline rehabilitation, rainwater harvesting, solar power provision and food security, while jointly promoting community-based adaptation to climate change.

Pemuteran Bay Coral Protection Foundation in Indonesia restores degraded coral reefs near the Pemuteran community in Bali, thereby improving marine resource abundance and diversity, while also generating sustainable livelihood options for villagers.

Shashwat works with tribal groups in India who have been displaced by the construction of a hydro dam, promoting small-scale fishing in the dam reservoir, locally-accessible irrigation technology, crop diversification, and agriculture techniques for the steep-sloping terrain'.

Sisi Initiative Site Support Group in Fiji sustainably manages natural resources around the periphery of the Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area, providing the local population with jobs, food security and incentives to conserve the surrounding ecosystems.

Tetepare Descendents’ Association in the Solomon Islands advances an incentive scheme which offers indigenous landholders education and livelihood services in exchange for their commitment to sustainably manage the marine and forest resources surrounding Tetepare Island.

Contact information

Lei Zong, Tel: +1 212 906 5920, Mobile: +1917 822 5490,, or, or visit

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