Day 1 - September 15
After the safe arrival of community participants from 24 countries* to the Community Summit, an introduction session got underway. The objective was to introduce communities to the Equator Initiative and to each other. A team of seven facilitators—comprised of Alejandra Pero of the Civil Society Organization Division of the UNDP, Colleen Corrigan of the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Dominique Bikaba of Pole Pole Foundation, Tran Triet of Phu My Wetland Conservation, Erika Vohman of Equilibrium Fund, Ana Maria Currea of Global Environment Facility's Small Grants Programme, and Ian Nigh of Integrative Eco-Social Design—were on hand to guide the event.
As is customary in Equator Initiative-hosted dialogue spaces, communities introduced themselves to the room and shared their traditional form of greeting. Participants were able to give some background on their initiatives and the work that earned them the Equator Prize.
Community participants were then given a general introduction to the Equator Initiative by Ms. Eileen de Ravin, Manager of the Equator Initiative. The participants then asked questions regarding a wide spectrum of topics including collaboration between similar projects, public relations, and the possibility of having a formal association of prize winners.
In the afternoon session, facilitators introduced the history and background of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Convention on Biological Diversity and the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10), and the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Biodiversity. The community participants then discussed the community groups' impact on policy making not only at the national level but also at the international level. Two past Equator Prize winners shared their stories with the 2010 winners and recounted how they had spread their message to decision makers to ensure that more people would be involved in biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. Tran Triet also gave helpful tips and advice on presentation skills.
Finally, facilitators divided the community participants into five groups to discuss their expectations and desired outcomes from their trip to New York. Common desired outcomes included:
• peer communication and exchange;
• meeting national decision makers;
• developing funding opportunities;
• partnership seeking; and
• having a great time in New York!
*The Rosh Protected Area Community from Yemen was unfortunately unable to travel to the Community Summit and to the Equator Prize Awards Ceremony.