Day 6 - September 21
The day began with people sharing their impressions of the previous evening's Equator Prize Award Ceremony, held at the American Museum of Natural History. The night had been a tremendous success—the community representatives had the opportunity to meet and talk with guests from various NGOs and UN agencies, as well as delegates and heads of state from several national governments. Some community members mentioned the coverage their award had received in their national media, highlighting how important this was for advocacy and for raising their profiles within their home countries. One of the highlights of the evening was the reading of the Community Statement by My Hanh Diep Thi from Bambou Village de Phu An (Vietnam), María Alejandra Velasco Parrado from Consejo Regional Tsimane' Mosetene-Pilon Lajas (Bolivia), and Masingita Mavis Hatlane from Makuleke Community: Pafuri Camp (South Africa). This was also discussed at the end of the day, with Joe Corcoran (Equator Initiative) taking suggestions for a shorter version of the statement to be read on September 22nd, during the UN General Assembly Special Session on Biodiversity.
The participants were then able to watch the final community presentation, from Cape Verde, concluding the twenty-four presentations given during the week. These had given each group a chance to talk about their work, and had always been closely listened to and followed with questions from other participants.
David Wilkie, from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), gave a presentation on Conceptual Modelling, which encouraged the community participants to see their projects in terms of a clear framework, delineating their vision, targets, and strategies. He emphasized the importance of identifying specific threats to species or ecosystems and setting attainable, measurable targets that relate to them. The participants broke into work groups to develop their own project summaries, which were then shared.
After lunch, the participants heard from Nik Sekhran, Principal Technical Advisor on Biodiversity and Ecosystems to the Energy and Environment Group (EEG), UNDP. He spoke about biodiversity management and financing within the UNDP system, drawing attention to the crucial role biodiversity plays in achieving development goals, and the disproportionate effect biodiversity loss has on the world's poorest populations. Focus areas for the UNDP include integrating biodiversity concerns into poverty reduction strategies, mainstreaming National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) into economic planning, and leveraging finance on a global scale to deal with market failures where biodiversity and ecosystems are being undervalued or not accounted for. Sekhran also discussed the important linkages between biodiversity and climate change adaptation.
The day concluded with some of the community representatives being interviewed by Neil MacFarquhar, for a New York Times article that appeared on September 29th.