A hippopotamus sanctuary, an agrofarmers’ group and an association of beekeepers are among the 25 projects selected by the United Nations-backed Equator Initiative as winners of a prize for exceptional leadership in slashing poverty through conservation and sustainable biodiversity efforts.
“The recipients of the Equator Prize 2008 are role models for communities across the globe,” said Veerle Vandeweerd, Director of the Environment and Energy Group of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
“Local groups are on the front lines of conservation and poverty reduction and it is critical that we recognize their sustainable practices and use their successes as a compass for policy formation.”
The initiative brings together the UN, civil society, business, governments and communities to help bolster grassroots biodiversity measures.
This year’s winners – which also include initiatives to promote eco-tourism, mangrove restoration and oyster farming – of the biennial Prize will be recognized at a ceremony featuring speeches by Chair of the UN Foundation (UNF) Ted Turner, head of the Nature Conservancy Mark Tercek and UNDP’s Ms. Vandeweerd, in Barcelona, Spain, on 6 October.
Five communities will receive “special recognition” and a prize of $20,000. Also, projects in each of the three geographical regions (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean) will also be acknowledged for exemplifying community approaches to climate change adaptation as well as agricultural biodiversity.