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Equator Prize Celebrates Sustainable Development

Timothy E. Wirth Statement on the Winners of the Equator Prize 2007

May 24, 2007

The vital link between healthy, biologically diverse environments and the creation of sustainable livelihoods was highlighted at United Nations headquarters this week with the announcement of the 25 finalists for the Equator Prize—-an award that brings international recognition to local communities working to overcome poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. 

United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth welcomed the announcement of this year’s Equator Initiative finalists, saying:

Congratulations to all of the local communities around the globe nominated for this round of the prestigious Equator Prize, which recognizes outstanding local efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

As these 25 Prize finalists demonstrate, the challenges of poverty and biodiversity are inextricably linked, and are best addressed holistically.  This is particularly the case in the world’s tropical areas where the world’s greatest concentrations of biodiversity and poverty co-exist. 

By forging enduring, local level partnerships between individuals, communities, governments, and businesses, these Equator Prize finalists are leading examples of global efforts to tackle the twin challenges of poverty reduction and environmental conservation.  These communities also inspire hope by demonstrating that the fundamental objective of the Millennium Development Goals – attaining global sustainable development – is possible.

The United Nations Foundation is extremely proud to be a founding partner of the Equator Initiative. We are honored to support these communities as a sponsor of this year’s Equator Prize.

Timothy E. Wirth
President, United Nations Foundation



About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems and also works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. The UN Foundation is a public charity.


About the Equator Initiative

Launched on 30 January 2002, the Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the United Nations, civil society, business, governments and communities to help build the capacity and raise the profile of grassroots efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The world's greatest concentrations of biological wealth are found in equatorial regions, in countries that also have some of the highest levels of poverty. The Equator Initiative champions and supports community efforts to link economic development and income generation with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Partners: The Government of Canada, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Conservation International, Ecoagriculture Partners, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Fordham University, International Development Research Centre, IUCN -- The World Conservation Union, The Nature Conservancy, RARE, Television Trust for the Environment (TVE), United Nations Foundation.

Press contact:

Adele Waugaman
United Nations Foundation