KATHMANDU: Nepal has secured the Equator Prize for 2023. The UN Development Program (UNDP) and partners announced that the winners of the prize are from Nepal, Brazil, Burundi, Bolivia, Ecuador, Greenland, Guatemala, Liberia, Philippines, and Zambia.
The winners of the 14th Equator Prize were announced by acknowledging indigenous peoples and local communities from the ten countries which were selected from a pool of over 500 nominations received from 108 countries, the UNDP said.
The winners will be awarded at a ceremony during UNDP’s Nature for Life Hub event in November later this year.
The UNDP further informed that this year’s winners shine a spotlight on the theme of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self-determination.
Among this year’s awardees, four are initiatives led by youth, each demonstrating a strong dedication to fostering intergenerational equity within their communities.
The 2023 awardees now become a part of a distinguished network comprising 275 communities that have been acknowledged for their exceptional contributions to adapting to and mitigating climate change and reducing poverty since 2002.
Equator Prize winners receive 15,000 Dollars and the opportunity to take part in a series of special virtual events associated with the UN General Assembly, SDG Summit, UN Climate Ambition Summit, and COP 28 in Dubai.
The winner from Nepal is Tergar Charity Nepal (TCN), a locally-driven organization focused on improving food security and livelihood in the remote Himalayan community of Samagaun, Northern Nepal. They promote crop diversification and sustainable crop management while implementing bioclimatic passive solar greenhouses for enhanced food security.
TCN also promotes women’s empowerment by raising awareness and providing guidance around menstrual health and hygiene in Samagaun. They also offer a literacy class to promote education and income generation for women in the community.
In partnership with a Canadian luxury tea company, TCN has shown a strong motivation to empower women, as they have successfully developed a value chain project, resulting in increased income for Samagaun women. They pick and process rose hips for the production of tea sold in Northern America.
Building upon this success, TCN expanded the project in 2022, constructing 32 additional greenhouses in Samagaun and 15 in the neighboring village of Samdo, according to UNDP Nepal Office.