Equator Prize 2012 National Ceremonies
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Hero3Following the success of the Equator Prize 2012 Award Ceremony, held as part of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, Equator Prize winners have also been recognised at the national level in ceremonies organised by UNDP Country Offices. Policymakers, UNDP staff, and representatives from civil society and the media attended these high-profile events, bringing national attention to these organisations' outstanding achievements. Please follow the links below to view speeches, photos, and video footage from these ceremonies. 

KENYA National Ceremony - August 30th, 2013

Kenya_National_Ceremony UNDP Kenya Country Office, in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forestry Services held the in-country award ceremony for Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) at the Chyulu Conservation Research Centre on August 30th, 2013. The aim of the ceremony was to build on the momentum created by the Equator Prize 2012 ceremony held in Brazil and to help increase the visibility of the Equator Prize 2012 winner’s pioneering initiatives at the national level. Over 300 people attended the ceremony including David Githaiga, Officer in Charge of Environment, Energy and climate Change Unit at UNDP Kenya; Dr. Nyakweba, Deputy Director - Wildlife Conservation at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; and Dr. Kasiki, Deputy Director - Biodiversity Research & Monitoring at Kenya Wildlife Service. The Keynote Speech was delivered by David Githaiga on behalf of UNDP Kenya’s Country Director.

Further Reference

UNDP Kenya Keynote Speech

MWCT Winner Profile

 

MOROCCO National Ceremony - June 20th, 2013

Morocco_Award_CeremonyThe in-country award ceremony honoring Association Amsing was held in Rabat on June 20, 2013 at the Department for the Environment. More than 60 representatives from partner ministries, local Moroccan NGOs, and UNDP stakeholders attended the event, covered by the Moroccan news agency MAP (print and TV). Mr. Jamal Mahfoud, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Mining, Water, and Environment, gave the opening speech. Mr Said Zirri, President of Association Amsing gave a presentation on his NGO’s work in the context of UNDP’s Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) Program. In addition to celebrating Amsing’s remarkable achievements, the event was an opportunity to showcase the work of 13 local NGOs that are financed by the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (SGP). Representatives from these NGOs presented their projects, which aim to address local issues linked to biodiversity, soil preservation, and greenhouse gas emissions. In the words of Mrs Ayshanie Labé, Deputy Resident Representative, of UNDP Morocco, “This prize is a distinction for Moroccan NGOs in general. It highlights the crucial role that community-based efforts and civil society can play in fostering sustainable, local development.”

Further Reference

Event video by MAP (French)

MAP event report (French)

Association Amsing Winner Profile

 

LIBERIA National Ceremony - May 27th, 2013

Liberia_Award_Ceremony_2012

On May 27, 2013, the West Africa Initiative of Liberia (WAIOL) was honored in a national award ceremony organized by UNDP Liberia. WAIOL was recognized for its exceptional work to develop livelihood options in Liberia, providing communities with viable alternatives to hunting and illegal logging. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director, presented the award to WAIOL Executive Director Ezekiel Freeman. “We are very happy to receive this award and would like to say thank you to UNDP for its support,” said Mr. Freeman on behalf of WAIOL. Mr. Sam reiterated the importance of climate change and energy management, as vital components for the sustainable development of Liberia. Representing the Government of Liberia, Deputy Commerce Minister Saye Gahn extolled the West Africa Initiative for the pride it has brought the country by winning the Equator Prize. Minister Gahn also encouraged others to follow the group’s lead in bringing global recognition to Liberia’s innovative development programs.

Further Reference

    West Africa Initiative of Liberia Winner Profile

 

 

EGYPT National Ceremony - April 25th, 2013

On April 25, 2013, the Medicinal Plants Association of the St. Catherine Reserve of Sinai was honored in a national award ceremony organized by UNDP Egypt. Anita Nirody, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, hailed the group for its work in job creation and income generation for local Bedouin populations, emphasizing “the importance of scaling up and replicating this successful model to other Egyptian protected areas.” Furthermore, the ceremony provided a space to recognize the Association for recently receiving a grant from the GEF Small Grants Programme to pursue new product opportunities and expand the scope of their work. The ceremony was attended by the Egyptian Minister of Environment Khaled Mohamed Fahmy Abdel Aal, scientists who supported the project, representatives from the Greek Orthodox monastery in St. Catherine, and members of the local community. 

Further Reference

Medicinal Plants Association, St. Catherine's Winner Profile

 

INDIA National Ceremony - May 10th, 2013

On May 10th, 2013, Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra felicitated 2012 UNDP Equator Prize winner Shashwat’s national award ceremony in Pune, Maharashtra. Addressing the grave water crisis in the state, the Minister commended the work of unsung heroes such as Shashwat, which had worked tirelessly with local communities in building sustainable livelihoods. Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, echoed this sentiment, stating that, “Shashwat’s work demonstrates how local action is a remarkable engine for achieving development goals in ways that empower communities, promote equity and inclusion, and conserve ecosystems.” Anand Kapoor, Co-founder of Shashwat, accepted the award on behalf of the initiative, asserting that, “Societies and governments should take a closer look at the sustainable development initiatives and frugal lifestyles of remote small communities as they hold important lessons for combating climate change.”

Further Reference

UNDP India Press Release

Shashwat Winner Profile

 

HONDURAS National Ceremony - April 22nd, 2013

The Honduras National Award Ceremony honoring the Association of Water Committees of the Southern Sector of Pico Bonito National Park (AJAASSPIB) was held in Tegucigalpa on April 22nd in conjunction with Earth Day 2013. The award was presented to Zumilda Duarte, Secretary of AJAASSPIB, by the Assistant Minister of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SERNA) Marco Jonathan Lainez, along with Francis Rafael Contreras Rivera, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Sustainable Development, and Edo Stork, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Honduras. Contreras Rivera praised the group’s work, asserting that, “Receiving such an honor on the global level raises awareness of the efforts of local people to develop sustainably. Furthermore, it brings attention to the multitude of positive initiatives being carried out in Honduras, which strengthens the country’s image.”

Further Reference

UNDP Honduras Press Release - Spanish

AJAASSPIB Winner Profile

 

BANGLADESH National Ceremony - March 21st, 2013

Bangladesh’s National Ceremony honoring the achievements of the Chunoti Co-management Committee was held in conjunction with the International Day of Forests and Trees. The theme of this year’s International Day of Forests and Trees was “Forest for Life and Livelihood”, segueing nicely into the successes of Chunoti Co-management Committee in securing sustainable livelihoods through the collaborative management of the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary. The event was chaired by Mr. Md. Yunus Ali, Chief Conservator of Forests of the Forest Department of Bangladesh, and Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, attended as the event’s chief guest. Dr. Mahmud congratulated the Chunoti Co-management Committee for bringing international recognition to local level solutions for charting a path for sustainable development and confirmed his government’s continued support for forest protection through participatory management. UNDP Acting Country Director Robert Juhkam and FAO Country Representative Mike Robson also spoke at the event, congratulating Chunoti Co-management Committee for setting an example of how to reduce economic pressure on ecosystems that can be replicated at the international level. More than three hundred participants from the government, civil society, academia, NGO, students, forestry practitioners and media representatives attended the event.

   

Further Reference

"Bangladesh made tremendous progress in forest management" - Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Chunti Co-management Committee Winner Profile

 

GUATEMALA National Ceremony - March 8th, 2013

Due to its status as a women-led organization, the national ceremony recognizing the work and achievements of the Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (ADEMI) was held on International Women’s Day (March 8th.) The certificate and medal were given to Berta Cumes, director of ADEMI, by UNDP Deputy Country Director Mauricio Ramírez, who praised the women’s work, saying, “The western part of the country is the region with the least opportunities for women. This case clearly demonstrates that if opportunities are extended to women, the entire community will benefit. It’s a project that can be replicated elsewhere, and the most interesting thing about it is that all of the work was done by these women on their own initiative.” Journalists from several major Guatemalan press outlets were present at the event, and interviewed the women after the ceremony.

Further Reference

UNDP Guatemala Press Release (Spanish)

Ixpiyakok Women Association Winner Profile

 

SWAZILAND National Ceremony - March 3rd, 2013

 

 

The national recognition ceremony for Swazi Indigenous Products (SIP) took place on Sunday, March 3rd during the annual Marula Festival – a traditional Swazi celebration that spans the marula fruit harvesting season from February to May. Present at the ceremony were Queen Indlovukazi and King Mswati III, who stated that, “the nation should take pride in that the Swazi Indigenous Products initiative has won Swaziland worldwide recognition.” More than 10,000 community members were present at the event, where the SIP initiative was commended for effectively demonstrating women’s economic empowerment through grassroots organizing. Video from the Marula Festival can be seen above.

Further Reference

"Marula Trees Place SD on World Map" - The Times of Swaziland

Swazi Indigenous Products Winner Profile

 

FIJI National Ceremony - February 18th, 2013

On Monday, February 18th, 2013, UNDP Deputy Representative Akiko Fuji traveled to the districts of Natewa and Tunuloa to present the Sisi Initiative Site Support Group with an award for their efforts in conserving their wooded areas. While handing over the award at Vusasivo Village in Natewa, she said the achievement by the group had been outstanding. "I am very grateful to be here in the districts to hand over the award to a very hardworking committee that involves a group of youths from the villages in Natewa and Tunuloa," Ms Fujii said. In addition to community members and members of the Sisi Initiative, the event was attended by members of the local press, and was covered in the Fiji Times the following Wednesday.

Further Reference

"UN Award for Local Project" - The Fiji Times

Sisi Initiative Site Support Group Winner Profile

 

NICARAGUA National Ceremony - January 23rd, 2013

 395559_531332356888715_1585960642_nOn January 23rd, 2013, the UNDP Nicaragua office held a national recognition ceremony for Equator Prize 2012 winner Alexander von Humboldt Center. Present at the ceremony were Dr. Jaime Incer Barquero, scientist and Environmental Advisor to the President; Víctor Campos, Assistant Manager of the Humboldt Center; Pablo Mandeville, Resident Representative of the UNDP; and project and agency staff from the UN. In his congratulatory speech, Dr. Barquero highlighted the merits of the Humboldt Center and listed the ways in which the organization has worked to preserve biodiversity. Dr. Barquero referred to the Humboldt Center as “a Hercules in the fight for the environment.” The Humboldt Center’s Associate Directory, Victor Campos, thanked the UNDP for its recognition and presented a summary of the results of the group’s Community Wells project.

Further Reference

UNDP Nicaragua Press Release (Spanish)

Alexander von Humboldt Center Winner Profile

 

SUDAN National Ceremony - January 16th, 2013

BAu6qzVCUAA7Oo8 On January 16th, 2013, UNDP Sudan Resident Representative Ali Al-Za’tari held a small reception to congratulate representatives from Zenab for Women in Development and to present them with a certificate for their achievements. Al-Za’tari asked Zenab’s representatives to propose areas of cooperation with UNDP Sudan, and the group has already signed a contract with the UNDP’s Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC.) Zenab received special recognition from UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, who remarked that, “Zenab’s past work organizing women into a farmers’ union is a great example of what we at the UNDP describe as ‘triple win’ approaches, where initiatives deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits simultaneously.”

Further Reference

"Zenab: A 'Triple Win' for Sudan, UNDP, and DDR" - UNDP Sudan

Zenab for Women in Development Winner Profile

 

TAJIKISTAN National Ceremony - December 19th, 2012

On December 19, 2012, the national award ceremony for Zan va Zamin (Women and Earth) was held by UNDP Tajikistan in the city of Dushanbe. UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan Alexander Zuev opened the celebration by greeting Muhabbat Mamadalieva, head of Zan va Zamin, and sharing his impressions of the 2012 Equator Prize award ceremony at the Rio Conference earlier that year. Jeffrey Campbell, Grants Director of the Christensen Fund, also congratulated Zan va Zamin by video message. Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Women and Family Affairs under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan Marhabo Alimova then proceeded to congratulate Muhabbat Mamadalieva on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan. The celebration was attended by representatives of various diplomatic bodies and international organizations accredited in Tajikistan, representatives of the Government, NGOs and the media. Padida, a popular Tajik dance troupe, also performed a concert at the event.

Further Reference

UNDP Tajikistan Press Release

Zan va Zamin Winner Profile

 

THE GAMBIA National Ceremony - September 1st, 2012

On September 1st, 2012, 150 women gathered to celebrate and honor the work and successes of Equator Prize 2012 winners TRY Oyster Women’s Association. Among them were a number of the group’s executive board members, community partners, and community members. The ceremony included speeches by Executive Board Member Marie Dacosta, NACCUG Program Manager Yaya Colley, Ousman Drammeh, and UNDP Resident Representative Izumi Morota Alakija. The speeches focused on relaying the importance of the women’s work and encouraging them to continue. After the speeches, food and drinks were served and, in spite of the downpour, the women danced and sang in appreciation. The local press attended, including GRTS, the Daily Observer Newspaper and Today Newspaper.

Further Reference

"TRY Oyster Women's Association Celebrates Receiving the UNDP Equator Prize 2012" - Global Environment Facility

Try Oyster Women's Association Winner Profile

 

INDONESIA National Ceremony - July 7th, 2012

El-Mostafa Benlamlih, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program in Indonesia, paid a visit to the Pemuteran Bay Coral Protection Foundation in Bali on July 7th, 2012 to recognize and honor the group for its hard work and success. All stakeholders from the Pernuteran community – fisherman, residents, investors, and researchers – were invited to attend the ceremony. Benlamlih praised the work that the group has done to rehabilitate over 70 reefal areas, stating, “The United Nations fully supports the Pemuteran Bay Coral Protection Foundation, whose work can be replicated in other countries.” Also in attendance at the ceremony were several key officials from Bali and a number of media outlets, which reported extensively on the event.

Further Reference

"UNDP Chief Praises Coastal Protection" - The Jakarta Post

Pemuteran Bay Coral Protection Foundation Winner Profile