At the invitation of Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator, and Timothy E. Wirth, Chairman of the United Nations Foundation, and on behalf of all the members of the Equator Initiative partnership, a panel of highly distinguished international figures has come together to form the Jury for the Equator Prize 2006. 

This Jury represents an extraordinary body of expertise and experience in environment development issues from across the world. The Jury selected the five winners of the Equator Prize 2006 from a subset of 25 extraordinary finalist projects, themselves drawn from the pool of 310 nominations by the Technical Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Mohamed El-Ashry 
Former CEO, Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Dr. Mohamed T. El-Ashry is a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. El-Ashry served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) from 1994 to 2003. Under his leadership, GEF grew from a pilot program with less than 30 members to the largest single source of funding for the global environment with 173 member countries. Prior to joining the GEF he served as the Chief Environmental Adviser to the President and Director of the Environment Department at the World Bank, as Senior Vice President of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and as Director of Environmental Quality with the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has held teaching and research positions at Cairo University, Pan-American-U.A.R. Oil Company, Illinois Geological Survey, Wilkes University, and the Environmental Defense Fund. He has also served as Senior Environmental Adviser to UNDP, as Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the 1992 U.N.Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and as a member of the World Water Commission.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, PhD 
Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University
President, Millennium Promise Alliance

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Dr. Sachs is also the President and Co-Founder of the Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty. He is widely considered to be the leading international economic advisor of his generation and for more than 20 years has been in the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing. Dr. Sachs is also one of the leading voices for combining economic development with environmental sustainability, and as Director of the Earth Institute leads large-scale efforts to promote the mitigation of human-induced climate change.

From 2002 to 2006 Dr. Sachs was the Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. In 2004 and 2005 he was named among the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine, and received the 2005 Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice. Sachs is a member of the Institute of Medicine and is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.


H.R.H. Princess Basma Bint Talal of Jordan
Royal Hashemite Fund for Human Development

Her Royal Highness Princess Basma has worked nationally, regionally and internationally for nearly thirty years to promote a range of global issues, most notably in the areas of human development, gender equity, and the well-being and development of children. She plays an active advocacy role through forums such as the United Nations, contributing to global strategies on health, education, population, the environment, and the advancement of women. Her Royal Highness is also involved with supporting the implementation of sustainable development programs that address the social and economic needs of marginalized groups. She was instrumental in establishing the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) and the Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development (ZENID). She also established the Jordanian National Commission for Women. Her Royal Highness was instrumental in the International Advisory Group to the UN Secretary General in preparation for the 1995 Conference on Women and has contributed to international organizations by serving as Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA and as a member of the UNESCO International Advisory Board of the International Council on Social Welfare and the UNESCO International Panel on Democracy and Development.

Professor M.S. Swaminathan
Chairman M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)

TIME Magazine acclaimed Professor Swaminathan as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century. He has been a world leader in sustainable development for more than 45 years and has been described by the United Nations Environment Programas "the Father of Economic Ecology." Dr. Swaminathan served as Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (1972-78) and of the International Rice Research Institute (1982-88). He has also served as Independent Chairman of the FAO Council (1981-85) and as the President of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (1984-1990). For his work in crop genetics and sustainable agricultural development in India and other developing nations, he was awarded the first World Food Prize in 1987, the Tyler and Honda Prizes in 1991, and the UNEP Sasakawa Award in 1994. He is a former president of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences of India, is a member of the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy, and the Italian and Chinese Academies. 

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
Executive Director, Tebtebba Foundation

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz serves as the Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and as the Executive Director of the Tebtebba Foundation in the Philippines. Since 1993, she has been a Co-Chair of the Indigenous Caucus of the UN Commission of Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee and is also a Board Member of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG) and the Vice President of the International Training Center of Indigenous Peoples (ITCIP). For many years, she has been the voice of indigenous people around the world and has sought to bring all of them together in policy-making and global advocacy.