EQUATOR PRIZE 2014


AN EVENING TO HONOR INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL

COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AND BUILD THE

MOVEMENT FOR INCLUSIVE CLIMATE AND

DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

22 September 2014 - Lincoln Center, New York City

|Meet The Winners
|Video Footage

|Photos

|Media

|Partners & Collaborators|

In support of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, UNDP and partners hosted the Equator Prize 2014 Award Ceremony at Lincoln Center on Monday, 22 September 2014.  Attended by more than 2,400 people, the evening was a celebration of leadership by indigenous and local communities working to meet climate and development challenges through the conservation and sustainable use of nature.  The Academy Awards-style program featured a high-level reception, awards program, keynote speeches, videos (narrated by actor Alec Baldwin), program launches, and musical performances.

Winners website

 

Programme
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Opening Remarks
15205851427 7cb623def8 z Red Carpet Group Edward and Connie scaled

Top: Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, provides opening remarks for the evening, calling the event a “celebration”.  Left to Right: Connie Britton (Actress and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador) and Edward Norton (Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity), the Masters of Ceremony for the evening, congratulate Equator Prize winners. 

The Equator Prize 2014 Award Ceremony opened with an introductory video narrated by Alec Baldwin, introducing the Equator Initiative partnership and outlining the opportunity of 2015 as a catalytic moment for enlightened and forward-thinking policies in the areas of climate change and sustainable development.    The Masters of Ceremony were Connie Britton (Actress and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador) and Edward Norton (Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity), each of whom congratulated the Equator Prize 2014 winners and appealed for greater recognition and empowerment of indigenous and local communities in meeting climate, development and environment challenges head-on. “Tonight we are celebrating heroes,” said Ms. Britton. “We are going to meet indigenous and community-based organizations that are forging bold and creative pathways to a more sustainable and equitable world”.   In reference to the need for action on climate change and environmental degradation, Mr. Norton added, “The time for taking stocks is many years in the rearview mirror…the time that we are at is for aggressive action.”     

Opening remarks on the evening were provided by Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark.  The former Prime Minister of New Zealand, welcomed an audience from across the spectrum, including government representatives, and in particular those in attendance for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.  “Tonight is a celebration,” said Ms. Clark.   She voiced her hope that the message of the evening about the importance of backing and empowering the world’s indigenous and local communities be heard and acted upon.  She closed with, “may their [Equator Prize winner] action inspire us, too, to be the change we want the world to be.”           

vimeo Video on the Equator Initiative (Narrated by Alec Baldwin)
vimeo Video of Connie Britton and Edward Norton welcoming the audience to the ceremony
vimeo Video of Helen Clark delivering keynote address
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Forest & Ecosystem Restoration
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Top: Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall, provides an overview of the forests and ecosystems agenda;
Left to Right: UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, and President and CEO of the World Resources Institute (WRI), Andrew Steer, announce the Equator Prize winners in the Forests and Ecosystem Restoration category; Representative of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program (Papua new Guinea) receives certificate on stage; State Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Norway, Hans Brattskar, announces that over the period 2016-2020, the Government of Norway will dedicate at least 100 million USD to indigenous peoples and forest dwelling communities.

This thematic segment of the evening on Forests and Ecosystem Restoration opened with a video narrated by Alec Baldwin on the Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador, an Equator Prize 2014 winner from Ecuador that was developed in response to the uncontrolled poaching of wildlife in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve and which is promoting organic cocoa cultivation as a wildlife protection measure and a pathway to local sustainable development. 

Framing remarks were provided by Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall.  She opened by saying, “All of you winners of the Equator Prize, what you have done is truly fantastic, and the example we need as we fight climate change and environmental destruction around the world.”  Dr. Goodall shared her perspective on the importance of healthy forests to meeting sustainable development challenges, and the threat of deforestation to global warming.  She drew linkages between forests loss and the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services like water provision.  Dr. Goodall was quick to say that forests are more than the services they provide.  She made a clear connection between indigenous land rights and forest conservation, saying “We find that, in those forests where indigenous peoples have land rights and government support, there tend to be forests that are well managed and healthy.”   

Equator Prize 2014 winners in this category were announced by UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, and President and CEO of the World Resources Institute (WRI), Andrew Steer.  Mr. Steer opened with the statistic that more than 50 soccer fields of forest are lost every minute of every day.  “If you want to stop deforestation, give legal rights to communities,” said Steer. “We have heroes amongst us tonight who are brave, who are changing the world.”  Ms. Tauli-Corpuz added that indigenous peoples are at the forefront of the battle to protect forests and restore ecosystems. “Many indigenous leaders have sacrificed their lives to protect their lands and forests.”  

This section of the evening closed with an announcement by State Secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Norway, Hans Brattskar, that, as part of its 2016-2020 civil society support, Norway will contribute at least 100 million USD to support indigenous peoples and forest dwelling societies.  This support will go to the protection of indigenous peoples rights to the forest and to ensuring their participation in the processes determining the future of these forests.  He affirmed Norway’s understanding that supporting indigenous and civil society groups is of strategic importance to catalyzing transformational change in forest countries. He said, “Forest conservation will not succeed unless the peoples of the forest are an integral part of the solutions.  By acknowledging them as the real custodians of the rainforest they must also be included, consulted, and have the rights of the forest recognized.”

 

vimeo Video on Asociacion de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador (Narrated by Alec Baldwin)  
vimeo Video of Andrew Steer & Vicky Tauli-Corpuz remarks and announcing winners 
vimeo Video of Hans Brattskar announcement on behalf of the Government of Norway in support of Indigenous Peoples 
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Food Security & Agriculture
Winner Mexico scaled 15205627130 0d90e63770 z 1 FoodSecurity AgricultureWinner scaled

Top: Director of the Earth Institute, Jeffrey Sachs, provides an overview of the Food Security and Agriculture agenda; Left to Right: Representative of Koolel-Kab / Muuch Kambal (Mexico) receives certificate on stage from Helen Clark and Senior Policy Advisor for UNDP and founder of the Equator Initiative, Charles McNeill; Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, and Regional Director for Africa for the Open Society Foundations, Akwe Amosu, announce the Equator Prize winners in the Food Security and Agriculture category; Representative of Amical Bè Ôko takes the stage to receive the prize. 

This thematic segment of the evening on Food Security and Agriculture opened with a video narrated by Alec Baldwin on the Conservation Area Management Committee, Parche, an Equator Prize 2014 winner from Nepal that has planted more than 200,000 trees and built over 100 micro-hydro units to generate sustainable energy in a remote region of the country.

Framing remarks in the Food Security and Agriculture section were provided by Director of the Earth Institute, Jeffrey Sachs.  “What a celebration tonight of indigenous communities and local communities and new technologies and all of the ways that we can advance and see the end of poverty, the end of hunger and protection of the environment,” said Sachs.  He suggested that food security and agriculture is at the nexus of everything we need to achieve on sustainable development and that “climate change represents that absolute biggest threat to the world food supply.”    

Equator Prize 2014 winners in this category were announced by Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, and Regional Director for Africa for the Open Society Foundations, Akwe Amosu.  Amosu said, “The winners here tonight, and many more beyond these walls, are showing a remarkable ability to marshal their resources and meet the twin challenges of food insecurity and climate change head-on.”  Gurria added, “It is great to be here to honor communities that represent the full spectrum of innovation at the local level.”   

vimeo Video on Conservation Area Management Committee, Parche, Nepal (Narrated by Alec Baldwin)
vimeo Video of Jeff Sachs discussing Food Security and Agriculture
vimeo Video of Angel Gurria and Akwe Amosu remarks and announcing winners
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Water & Oceans
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Top: Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, Johan Rockstrom, provides an overview of the water and oceans agenda; Left to Right: Representative of Comunidad Indígena de Manquemapu (Chile) receives certificate on stage; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, and National Geographic Explorer in Residence, Sylvia Earle, announce the Equator Prize winners in the water and oceans category; Representative of Tulele Peisa (Papua New Guinea) shakes hands with Sylvia Earle.  

Framing remarks in the water and oceans section were provided by Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, Johan Rockstrom. He opened saying, “What a humbling and inspiring experience this is to see the ingenuity of human commitment to work with nature for our common prosperity.”  Dr. Rockstrom suggested that we have become a large world on a small planet and that humanity has become the driving force of change on a planetary scale.  He acknowledged that there is good news in that “we are the first generation now finally to see that we need a whole new development paradigm for human prosperity within a stable earth system, within our safe planetary boundaries…It is time to become stewards of the remaining beauty on earth.”  Within that context, he outlined how water (the “bloodstream of the biosphere”) and marine and coastal resource management are central to the sustainable development agenda.  

Equator Prize 2014 winners in this category were announced by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, and National Geographic Explorer in Residence, Sylvia Earle.   Dr. Earle noted the unprecedented decline she has seen over recent decades in the health of oceans and marine and coastal areas. She added, “I am here as a witness that indigenous and community management and protection of marine and coastal areas is essential for the protection and health of the world’s oceans.”  Her Majesty began by congratulating the Equator Prize 2014 winners in this category and acknowledging that a lack of water security is a key constraint to local development, and to global peace and security.  She closed by saying, “As we have all seen tonight, there can be no sustainable development without indigenous and local community empowerment.”

vimeo Video on Utooni Development Organization, Kenya (Narrated by Alec Baldwin)
vimeo Video of Johan Rockstrom discussing Water and Oceans
vimeo Video of Her Majesty Queen Noor & Sylvia Earle remarks and announcing winners
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Special Announcements
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Top: CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environmental Facility Dr. Naoko Ishii announces the Indigenous Peoples Fellowship Initiative. Bottom (left to right): UN Special Envoy for Climate Change Mary Robinson introduces the special recognition award for women's leadership; Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany Barbara Hendricks announces the Global Support Initiative for Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas and Territories; Mary Robinson congratulates the winner of the special recognition award for Women's Leadership.

Dr. Naoko Ishii opened this segment of the program featuring special announcements by addressing the winners and underscoring the importance of their work in making sustainable development a reality. She explained that through these winners we have “witnessed the power of local communities that utilize their local knowledge and expertise to best manage their natural capital--their lands, forests, and water--which is great to their livelihood, but is also great for the global environment.” Calling for increased investment in local action, Dr. Ishii announced the Indigenous Peoples Fellowship Initiative, to be delivered through the GEF Small Grants Program.

Barbara Hendricks focused her comments on the observation that areas inhabited by indigenous peoples are often better protected from destruction, as the resident communities “have a deeply-rooted awareness of the importance of intact ecosystems.” For these reasons, she said that the Government of Germany was pleased to announce a new initiative, in partnership with United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility, to allocate 12 million euros to support a program of work entitled, the Global Support Initiative for Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas and Territories.

Presenting a special recognition award for Women’s Leadership, Mary Robinson noted that “women are at the forefront of positive change in conservation, in poverty reduction, and in meeting the challenge of climate change.” Leading into the announcement of this year’s winner, Robinson explained that “women are leading the way to a low-carbon future, whether in climate smart agriculture, sustainable energy, ecosystem restoration, forest protection. You name it: women are at the cutting edge of the solutions.” 

vimeo Video on Northern Rangelands Trust, Kenya (narrated by Alec Baldwin)
vimeo Video of Naoko Ishii announcing Indigenous Peopls Fellowship Initiative 
vimeo Video of Barbara Hendricks announcing Global Support Initiative for Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas and Territories
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People's Climate March
 

The day before the Equator Prize 2014 award ceremony, more than 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City to demand aggressive action to address climate change.  Bill McKibben took the stage to report out on the Peoples Climate March and to make an appeal for climate action.  “Make no mistake: yesterday was the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel age on this planet.”  McKibben urged for renewed energy in the push to move away from fossil fuels, saying that time is short.  In reference to the numbers and the reality of climate change, McKibben added, “there are no real mysteries and there haven’t been for decades”. He suggested that we do not need more technology, but more political will.  He went on to argue that there is no possibility of meeting the Millennium Development Goals or any other sustainable development targets on a planet that is quickly physically degrading.  McKibben closed by saying, “We hope that those leaders that come tomorrow [for the Climate Summit] will be inspired by the likes of what we have seen tonight: these amazing stories of human courage and innovation and love.”

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Call To Action - Al Gore

 

Following an introduction by actress Kyra Sedgwick, Al Gore began the evening’s keynote address by delivering what he described as his main message of congratulations to all of the award winners: “You are inspiring --thank you for what you’ve done.” Gore expressed enthusiasm about the People’s Climate March in New York the previous day, saying, “It was a statement”.  Having been involved with the struggle to solve the climate crisis for many years, Mr. Gore explained that he had learned to “recharge his personal batteries with the hope and inspiration from the people at the grassroots level who are working every day to make this happen in the right way.”

Mr. Gore cited examples of progress in recent years, especially in alternative energy and its potential scalability once consumers demand it. He cited the unlikely history of the exponential acceleration of cellphone adoption, and its parallel to the recent development of solar energy technology. Gore began his conclusion by asking attendees not to get discouraged: “We are going to win this…Don’t feel like solving the climate crisis is this heavy burden that you’ve got to carry.  I want you to feel the joy of having work to do that justifies every effort you can expend to get it done.”

Gore closed by quoting Wallace Stevens, saying, “After the last no, there comes a yes.  And on that yes, the future world depends.  We’ve had a lot of nos, but a yes is coming.” In meeting the climate crisis, Gore asserted, “A big part of the answer will be that the grassroots heroes and heroines of the kind of men and women that win the Equator Prize will have led the way to a sustainable future.”   

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Musical Performances
 

Top: Feist moves the audience with her performance  Left to Right: Jackson Browne performs a song on the topic of ocean conservation; Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performs for the packed hall; Jackson Browne, Feist, and Justin Vernon close the evening by performing a song together.

Several musical performances were spread across the evening program, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Jackson Browne; Grammy Award winner Justin Vernon of Bon Iver; and Grammy Award-nominated Feist. Jackson Browne performed two songs: “Standing in the Breach” and, “If I Could Be Anywhere,” which was written on the subject of ocean conservation and inspired by a trip that he took to the Galápagos Islands with Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue. Browne said “it is very moving to be here”. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver opened by saying, “I’m incredibly humbled to be here this evening.” He performed two songs: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Heavenly Father.”  Leslie Feist was the final performer of the evening, playing “Where Can I Go Without You?” and “Mushaboom.”  Between songs she acknowledged and thanked the Equator Prize winners, saying, “It is a real honor to be here tonight, a humbling honor.”  Browne, Vernon, and Feist played a finale performance of the song, “It is One.” 

vimeo  Video of Jackson Browne's performance
vimeo  Video of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver's performance
vimeo  Video of Feist's performance
vimeo Video of group performance
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Special Recognition Awards
Sustainable Forest Management   Ecosystem Restoration  Smallholder Farming Sustainable Land
Management in Drylands
 
Karau Kuna accepts the award on behalf of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, Papua New Guinea  Anis Kassem Almaflahi accepts the award on behalf of Al-Heswa Wetland Protected Area, Yemen

Clementine Ngassima accepts the award on behalf of Amical Bè Ôko, Central African Republic

Sani Salha accepts the award on behalf of Fédération des Unions de Producteurs de Maradi Gaskiya, Niger
       
Marine and Coastal
Resource Management
Water Access and Management  Indigenous and
Community Conserved Areas 
Women's Leadership 
Houssine Nibani accepts the award on behalf of Association de Gestion Intégrée des Ressources, Morocco Bakhtul Mamadghoziev accepts the award on behalf of Water is Hope, Tajikistan.  

Maximiliano Letuama accepts the award on behalf of ACIYA, Colombia 

Manuela Omari Ima Omene accepts the award on behalf of Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador  
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Media Coverage

Prize winners were featured in national and international media: Tulele Peisa, Papua New Guinea (The Huffington Post)|Conservation Area Management Committee, Parche, Nepal (The Huffington Post)|Uplift the Rural Poor, Uganda (The Huffington Post)| Asociación de Capitanes Indígenas de Yaigojé Apaporis, Colombia (El Espectador) | Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Palestine (Alwatan Voice)|Asociación de Capitanes Indígenas de Yaigojé Apaporis, Colombia (LAInformacion) Chhattisgarh Traditional Healer Association (World News)|Asociación de las Mujeres Waorani de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana (The Huffington Post) The evening also received coverage in many news outlets, including The Examiner, the UNDP Website and the UN and Climate Change Website.

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Event Sponsors 


FederalMinistryForEconomicCooperationAndDevelopment 
 
 GEF SGP logo  UN-REDD-logo
4470121769 f504a622de USAID 
ADP-Logo-Transparent-BG United-Nations-Foundation 
World Resources Institute logo TNC logo

 

                               Partners & Event Collaborators

 

 350.org  IUCN
 Climate Action Network  Open Society Foundations
 Climate Reality Project  PCI/Media Impact
 Conservation International  Rare
Convention on Biological Diversity Tribal Link Foundation
Ecoagriculture Partners      UN Environment Programme     
Environmental Media Association UN Millennium Campaign
Fordham University WWF-UK

 

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Resources


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Flyer Programme Case Study Database The Power of Local Action

 

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