Nine GEF Small Grants Programme grantees win Equator Prize

September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010, New York

On September 20th, 2010 at the event "Biodiversity, Climate Change and MDG Achievement – Scaling Up Local Solutions” held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, UNDP announced the winners of the Equator Prize 2010.

The event was organized on the occasion of the 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Review Summit of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Equator Prize 2010 Award Ceremony celebrated the work of 25 local indigenous peoples and communities that have developed innovative biodiversity conservation projects.

Nine out of these 25 projects are also grantees of the GEF Small Grants Programme, a demonstration that supporting communities achieve their environmental goals is having an important impact on biodiversity conservation.



These are the SGP Grantees that won the Equator Prize 2010:

  • Consejo Regional Tsimané Mosetene – Pilon Lajas (CRTM PL), Bolivia
    Consejo Regional Tsimané Mosetene – Pilon Lajas works to conserve Bolivia’s Biosphere Reserve and to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples within the territory. The reserved area is collaboratively managed between Tsimané Mosetene Regional Council (CRTM) and Bolivia’s National Service of Protected Areas. The initiative works to expel illegal poachers, promote local biodiversity conservation education, preserve local culture and traditions, promote sustainable agriculture, and improve local livelihoods.


  • Associação Comunitária Nova Experiência Marítima da Cruzinha da Garça, Cape Verde
    ACNEMC works in Cruzinha da Garça, one of the most important nesting sites for sea turtles in Cape Verde. The community-based group aims to create income generating alternatives to marine resource extraction activities that threaten sea turtle populations. The organization is part of a regional consortium that includes the islands of São Nicolau, Santo Antao and Sao Vicente, which works to use community co-management strategies to involve local fishing communities in the conservation of marine turtles and their habitats. As a result of their work, which included cooperative planning with four neighbouring communities, the capture of female turtles during nesting season has decreased by 100.
  • Muliru Farmers Conservation Group (MFCG ), Kenya
    The Muliru Farmers Conservation Group (MFCG) works to improve local livelihoods through the commercial cultivation and processing of the indigenous medicinal plant Ocimum kilimandscharicum, and the manufacture of the Naturub® brand of medicinal products. Located adjacent to the Kakamega forest in Western Kenya, the organization creates value-added alternative incomes for the local population, conserves the biodiversity-rich forest by relieving unsustainable pressure on forest resources, and demonstrates the economic incentives of biodiversity in the region to promote conservation activities.
  • Association ADIDY Maitso, Madagascar
    Association ADIDY Maitso aims to protect the natural resources of the Ankeniheny Zahamena forest corridor along the east coast of Madagascar, where over 80 percent of the diversified species on the planet reside. Reforestation and restoration activities are used to promote the diversification of local livelihoods and to raise awareness of the economic value of biodiversity conservation. Agro-forestry training is provided to local farmers, with a particular focus on helping women gain financial independence through garden farming. Patrols and surveillance are used to ensure the conservation of local biodiversity and to monitor illegal logging of tropical rosewood, an escalating problem in Madagascar.
  • Fundacion San Crisanto A.C, Mexico
    Fundacion San Crisanto AC focuses on the hydrological restoration of mangroves and the de-silting of cenotes with the objective of preventing flooding in communities that regularly suffer economic and environmental losses as a result of heavy rains. The organization is similarly committed to educating the local community on the importance of wetland and mangrove conservation and sustainable use. Local traditions and customary law have been reinforced in a process that has seen the rehabilitation of 11,300 meters of canals, the restoration of between 25 and 45 cenotes, and increases in the number of endemic animal species. The initiative has created over sixty new jobs and put together a twenty-year strategic plan to guide community conservation and development efforts, a plan that focuses on public works, productive activities, environment and social integration, and community development.
  • La Fédération Locale des GIE de Niodior (FELOGIE), Senegal
    La Fédération Locale des GIE de Niodior (FELOGIE) works in the Saloum Delta Biosphere Reserve to conserve biodiversity and sustainably manage natural resources, with a focus on local mangroves. The organization employs a participatory approach, directly involving local communities in natural resource management and conservation activities. Biological recovery periods for the mangrove ecosystems underpin a participatory code of conduct for sustainable biodiversity management. Financial sustainability and community reinvestment are ensured through an Environment and Development Support Fund (FAED). Restoration and conservation work has led to substantial increases in fish and shellfish populations, expanded mangrove cover, and improved local livelihoods. Income generating opportunities for women have risen dramatically, with over 400 women managing sustainable marine resource extraction activities on the shellfish bed and earning the village over US$5,500 annually.
  • Makuleke Community, South Africa
    Located in the northern part of Kruger National Park (KNP), Pafuri Camp is an ecotourism initiative based on the principle of community-based conservation as the most effective mechanism for long-term biodiversity protections and equitable sustainable development. Revenues from game drives, wildlife walks, and other ecotourism activities are reinvested in both community development projects as well as biodiversity conservation initiatives. An anti-poaching force has been deployed and has removed a significant number of snares, an artificial cause of mortality in both herbivore and predator populations.
  • Kibale Association for Rural Development (KAFRED) , Uganda
    Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development undertakes sustainable ecotourism activities in Kibale National Park with the aim of protecting the area’s biodiversity and promoting sustainable local livelihoods. The conservation of both natural and cultural resources, the promotion of conservation education, and the channeling of ecotourism revenues into community development (including education, health and sanitation projects) are central features of KAFRED’s work. A walking tour offered through Magombe Swamp has proved a sustainable income-generating project while also providing a platform for the protection of a valuable wetland and its unique endemic species. Music, dance and drama are performed at community schools to promote public awareness of local environmental and cultural values.
  • Rosh Protected Area Community - Yemen
    Rosh is a Marine Protected Area located off the northern coast of Socotra, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Yemen. The territory traditionally belongs to the Sacra and Diherhom villages. The initiative started as an eco-campsite and conservation area to address decreases in fish species and populations and to counter an attempt by the coastal land-owner to sell off the territory, thereby depriving villagers of direct management over the marine resources. The campsite has created new jobs, functions on a benefit sharing principle, and uses solar panel technology and sustainable water management techniques. The Sacra and Diherhom villages enjoy a wealth of fish in their marine area as a sustainable source of income and nutrition while also generating ecotourism revenues during the tourist season.


For more information visit the official website of the Equator Initiative or contact: Ana Maria Currea, Knowledge Management Facilitator, GEF SGP,, Tel. +1 212-906-6028.