Call for nominations: Equator Prize 2019

The UNDP-led Equator Initiative announces its global call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2019. This worldwide outreach effort aims to identify exceptional local solutions for climate, people, and planet. Nominations are open through 26 February 2019.

This tenth cycle of the UNDP Equator Prize will focus on local communities and indigenous groups in rural areas that have developed innovative, nature-based solutions for climate change and sustainable development. Winning initiatives are taking action to protect and restore ecosystems, promote local models for low-carbon or climate-smart agriculture; or advance low-carbon nature-based alternatives to food, fuel, fiber and building materials.

“Local communities and indigenous peoples inspire us with their innovative, nature-based solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss. They protect large swaths of forests essential to keep the planet breathing. They sustainably grow crops in both traditional and innovative ways. They give us hope, and they show pathways to inclusive and sustainable development. Through this global search, the Equator Prize helps us identify groundbreaking community initiatives, and tell their stories to a global audience”, said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

The Equator Prize will be a contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, culminating in an Award Ceremony at the beginning of Climate Week. Twenty winning groups will receive USD 10,000 and will be invited to participate in a series of policy dialogues and special events during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, in September 2019.

The selection of winners will showcase community innovation in advancing nature-based solutions to climate change and local sustainable development. Crosscutting themes of the Equator Prize 2019 include advocacy for land and water rights, social and environmental justice, and gender equality. Winning groups join a prestigious network of 223 community-based organizations from 78 countries that have been awarded the Equator Prize since 2002. Past recipients of the Equator Prize have included community-managed forests, inclusive eco-enterprises, community protected areas, agriculture and farming cooperatives, local water committees, mangrove protection and restoration initiatives, and locally managed marine areas, among many others. Collectively, past Equator Prize winners have protected several million hectares of forests, created several tens of thousands of jobs, and contributed to the protection of dozens of endangered species.

The Equator Prize has been supported by former Heads of State Gro Harlem Brundtland, Oscar Arias, and Mary Robinson, Nobel Prize winners Al Gore and Elinor Ostrom, thought leaders Jane Goodall and Jeffrey Sachs, indigenous rights activists Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, and many others.

The Equator Initiative is a UNDP-led 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. Partners include the Governments of Germany, Norway and Sweden; 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; UN Foundation; the Wildlife Conservation Society, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

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

Media Contact: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP New York ; Tel: +1 212 906 5043