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.

Equator Prize 2022 Theme: Transforming our Economy and Relationship with Nature for Sustainable Development


This year’s Equator Prize will recognize innovative initiatives from Indigenous peoples and local communities 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 nature for positive development outcomes. Thematic priorities include:

  • Creating a planetary safety net. Protection, restoration, and/or sustainable management of ecosystems to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and/or support communities in adapting to the impacts of climate change. This includes actions to:
    • Protect and restore nature in order to safeguard water, food, carbon, livelihoods, and biodiversity
    • Safeguard Indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands, territories, and resources, including through the use of cutting-edge technology
  • Redefining Our Relationship with Nature: Redefine our relationship with nature by putting nature at the heart of local development plans and policies, and by defending the rights of land and water defenders. This includes actions to:
    • Integrate Indigenous peoples and local communities’ concepts, traditional knowledge, vision, and value of nature into local and/or national development plans and policies
    • Defend land and water defenders, advocate for land and water rights, and promote social and environmental justice
  • Creating a new green economy for people and planet. Protection, restoration and/or sustainable management of terrestrial or marine ecosystems, biodiversity, and/or wildlife that enables sustainable livelihoods, green enterprises, and jobs, including the promotion of Indigenous economies. This includes actions to:
    • Accelerate regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, and sustainable fisheries
    • Ensure Indigenous peoples and local communities and their micro-, small-, and medium- green enterprises (MSMEs) at the heart of fair and inclusive sustainable supply chains
    • Develop sustainable commodity production and promote deforestation-free commodities
    • Support and strengthen Indigenous economies

Special consideration will be given to nominees working on ecosystem integrity and intactness, intergenerational equity, 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 2022.


To be eligible for the Equator Prize 2022:


  • 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.

Deadline: Nominations must be submitted by April 8, 2022.


Click here for more details and to apply