“The struggle of poor and vulnerable communities against poverty, biodiversity depletion, environmental degradation, climate change devastation and poor governance may be slow and protracted, but their local solutions and innovations guarantee the future of the present and the next generation […] Additional resource allocation and support to the global movement of local and indigenous land and sea managers is needed from the international community to consolidate local community achievements, and initiate and sustain more local actions together to address global challenges with scaled-up solutions and innovations." – Leonardo Rosario, Trowel Development Foundation  

This publication presents 15 stories of outstanding community and indigenous initiatives working in coastal and marine ecosystems to deliver benefits across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. All of the communities profiled here have received the prestigious Equator Prize, awarded by the UNDP Equator Initiative partnership, and eight of these communities have also received grants from the GEF Small Grants Programme. These stories show that indigenous peoples and local communities are some of the most effective stewards of the planet’s marine ecosystems. They also show that the actions taken by these local initiatives can have widespread impact, in many cases across their entire country and beyond. This publication clearly demonstrates the importance of these and similar community initiatives around the world by illustrating how they can help us achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.