Equator Prize for Outstanding Local Community and Indigenous Peoples Initiatives 2021

The Equator Initiative invites applications for the Equator Prize for Outstanding Local Community and Indigenous Peoples Initiatives in New York in 2021.

The Equator Initiative is a United Nations-led partnership that brings together governments, civil society, grassroots organizations, and businesses to foster resilient communities by recognizing and advancing local nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The Equator Initiative creates opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practices, develops capacities of local communities and Indigenous peoples, informs policy through convening multi-stakeholder dialogues, and fosters enabling environments to replicate and scale-up community action.

The Equator Prize 2021 will be awarded to the outstanding local community and Indigenous peoples initiatives that advance innovative nature-based solutions for sustainable development. The winners will join a prestigious network of 255 leading community-based organizations from 83 countries that have been awarded the Equator Prize since 2002.

This year’s Equator Prize will recognize innovative initiatives from local communities and Indigenous peoples that demonstrate exceptional achievements in nature-based solutions for local sustainable development. Winning initiatives will be honored for their successes in protecting, restoring, and/or sustainably managing biodiversity for positive development outcomes. Thematic priorities include:

  • Action on Sustainable Food Systems
    • Protection, restoration, and/or sustainable management of natural and agricultural ecosystems for food security.
  • Action on Climate
    • Protection, restoration, and/or sustainable management of ecosystems that help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and/or help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • Action on Nature and Green Economy
    • Protection, restoration, and/or sustainable management of terrestrial or marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and/or wildlife that enables sustainable and green livelihoods, enterprises, and jobs, including Indigenous economies.
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Special consideration will be given to nominees working on ecosystem integrity and intactness, water security, disaster risk reduction, advocacy for land and water rights, social and environmental justice, and gender equality.

Worth of Award

Each Equator Prize winner will receive USD 10,000 and will be supported to participate in a series of policy dialogues and special events in the fall of 2021.


To be eligible for the Equator Prize 2021:


  • initiative must have been in existence for at least three years, and/or the actions taken must have been in place for at least three years.
  • nominee must be either a local community-based initiative, operating in a rural area, based in a country receiving support from the United Nations Development Programme; or an initiative led by Indigenous peoples in any country, operating in a rural area.
  • actions taken by the nominee must be nature-based and must deliver benefits related to two or more Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

How to Apply

  • Nominators are encouraged to quantify results and include data that demonstrate positive impacts in their submissions.
  • Nominations may be submitted either directly by the initiative or community, by a partner organization, or by any third party that is sufficiently familiar with the activities and achievements of the initiative or community.
  • Nominators must indicate whether they agree to have the solution highlighted in the Equator Initiative web portal on local nature-based solutions for sustainable development.
  • Nominated initiatives will undergo a verification process that may require nominees and/or nominators to provide additional information and/or materials.
  • Nominations may be submitted in English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish. To nominate in other languages (such as Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, or Russian), please contact the Equator Initiative for instructions.
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Deadline: Nominations must be submitted by May 10, 2021.


Click here for more details and to apply