Equator Prize Winners

15 years advancing solutions for local sustainable development.

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Working in the areas surrounding Lake Urmia – the world’s second largest hyper-saline lake and the largest inland wetland in Iran – the Umbrella Group of Naghadeh NGOs addresses water management issues that include wetland restoration, adaptation to droughts, farm irrigation, and sedimentation in canals. Although previous efforts to restore the rapidly disappearing Lake Urmia focused on the lake itself, this initiative took...…

Ukuzaji Wa Asali Arica (Honey Care Africa), Honey Care Africa is a social enterprise that strives to raise incomes for rural Kenyan farmers through apiculture. Taking advantage of a tradition of beekeeping as a supplementary source of food and cash income for Kenyan farmers, the enterprise has sought to improve the productivity and viability of this sustainable livelihood activity as an alternative to poaching...…

TRY Oyster Women's Association brings together 500 female oyster harvesters from across 15 villages in the Greater Banjul area. Harvesters are clustered into cooperatives where they exchange sustainable oyster harvesting techniques and receive training in small-scale enterprise development. Cooperatives have ensured access to appropriate equipment and technologies...…

Trowel Development Foundation is a community-based organization employing climate-adapted aquaculture technology to replant mangroves. Mangrove reforestation efforts have focused on planting native tree species in strategic areas, resulting in restored marine biodiversity, food security, and protection of coastal areas.…

The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) was concerned about the rapid depletion of rice diversity in the Jeypore tract of the Indian state of Orissa, once the home of the largest number of rice varieties in India. In 1998, the foundation undertook to improve the condition of poor farmers while revitalizing vanishing rice varieties, combining modern and traditional approaches for the conservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of local rice biodiversity.…

Working in the caatinga ecosystem of northeastern Brazil, Carnaúba Viva has introduced innovative means of sustainably managing the carnauba tree (Copernicia prunifera), a locally-abundant palm species whose leaves can be used for wax production. Working with the indigenous people of the Jaguaribe-Açu territory and in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Environment...…

Torra Conservancy, located on communal lands in the Kunene region of northwest Namibia, is home to more than 1,200 residents, living in small settlements scattered across the 3,493-km2 territory. In 1995, the conservancy began a search for investors to develop an ecotourism enterprise in the territory, represented by the Ward 11 Residents’ Association Trust in negotiations.…

Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) partners with local communities to promote sustainable income generation and co-management of both forest and marine resources in the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor, a conservation area covering approximately 739,650 acres of land and the equivalent of 100,000 acres of sea.…

The village of Tmatboey comprises 236 families, some from the Kui minority ethnic group, and lies within Preah Vihear province, in the remote Northern Plains of Cambodia. The plains of Preah Vihear are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Giant Ibis and White-Shouldered Ibis – both critically endangered species; in total, the area supports 50 species on the IUCN Red List, and is for many of these species a last refuge, making the Northern Plains a focus for conservation interventions.…

Timu ya Rasilimali ya Jamii ya Ujamaa (Ujamaa Community Resource Team) works across northern Tanzania to help secure land and resource rights for pastoralist, agro-pastoralist, and hunter-gatherer communities, many of whom are negatively affected by the existence of the country's large protected areas. The group's approach has capitalized on Tanzania's village land legislation, which allows communities to develop...…

To safeguard the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve – an area that is roughly the size of Taiwan – this grassroots initiative employs locally-nominated volunteers known as pendebas from each of the 406 villages within the protected area to promote environmental conservation, improve family health, advance options for income generation, and organize collective action for common goods.…

Tetepare Descendants’ Association (TDA) officially represents the legal owners of Tetepare Island, the largest uninhabited island in the tropical Pacific and one of the last remaining unlogged tropical islands in world. To resist pressures from industrial logging companies, the association has created ‘community conservation agreements’ whereby indigenous landholders...…

Swazi Indigenous Products is a member-owned natural seed oil enterprise that provides jobs and income to local women, while also protecting the ecosystems of the Lubombo region of the country. Local women are supported to sustainably cultivate and collect wild marula, trichilia, and ximenia tree seeds. The women-led initiative also runs a tree-planting program and offers environmental education training for its...…

Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) works to enable communities across the country to balance ecosystem protection and economic development by exploring ways to resolve human-elephant conflict through community development, capacity building, and research.…

A federation of Wapichan communities in Guyana, South Central People's Development Association has developed an innovative land use plan and a 'living digital map' of their traditional lands to promote secure land rights and socioecological resilience. Community mapping teams create territorial maps that are used to make land claims and devise collective land use...…

The Sociedades Cooperativas de Producción Pesquera de Cozumel y Vigía Chico (Fish Production Cooperative Societies of Cozumel and Vigia Chico), are two cooperatives working in the Mexican State of Qintana Roo to advance a model of sustainable fishing for local communities. Located on the tropical island of Cozumel, an international tourist destination...…

This group currently co-manages the Mamirauá and Amaña Reserves, covering a combined total of 3.5 million hectares of flooded tropical forest and wetlands in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Founded in 1992, the initiative is an environmental policy and research body that brings together academic institutes and local communities in the sustainable management of the area's wetland resources.…

Shompole Group Ranch covers almost 62,700 hectares of grassland and savannah in the Magadi Division of southern Kenya. The Group Ranch, under the management of the legally-registered Shompole Community Trust, has 2,000 registered members representing around 10,000 Loodokilani Maasai dependents, and is legally registered to undertake wildlife conservation within its boundaries.…

In the low-lying northwestern region of Bangladesh, a mosaic of wetland ponds and waterways make travel extremely difficult, particularly during the monsoon season when extensive flooding occurs. To address this challenge, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha operates a fleet of 54 solar-powered boats to deliver services that range from schools to agricultural extension centers.…

Shashwat is a grassroots initiative that was developed in response to the displacement of Koli Mahadeo, Thakars, and Katkaris tribal peoples by construction of the Dimbhe dam, which submerged eleven villages and destroyed cropland in another thirteen. The organization helps local communities to develop small-scale fishing activities in the dam reservoir, and improve agricultural production on the remaining cultivatable land...…