Equator Prize 2021: Two Indian organizations win prestigious UNDP award in conservation and biodiversity


Two Indian organisations have won Equator Prize 2021, for their exceptional achievement in showcasing innovative, local, nature-based solutions for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change and achieving their local development goals.

The United Nations Development Programme informed that Snehakunja Trust and Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited are among the 10 awardees of the Equator Prize 2021 for their work in the field of biodiversity and conservation.

UNDP in an official statement stated that two communities from India have bagged this year’s prestigious Equator Prize, for their exceptional achievement in showcasing the innovative, local, nature-based solutions for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change and achieving their local development goals.

Two Indian organisations: Winners of Equator Prize 2021

Work of Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company:

It is a 1,700 member cooperative, which is managed and run entirely by the indigenous people from the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Tamil Nadu.

The company’s work in the last 8 years has improved the livelihoods of across 147 villages by processing and marketing a diverse range of crops and forest produce.

Members, through local value addition, earn premium prices on a wide range of products including those that are collected sustainably from the reserve.

Shareholders regularly monitor the harvesting and agricultural practices in order to ensure product quality and prevent the overuse of the resources.

Contribution made by Snehakunja Trust:

The trust has protected the sensitive wetland and the coastal ecosystems in the Western Ghats and the Karnataka Coast for almost 45 years with a focus on community-based conservation and restoration.

The organization supported hundreds of Self-Help Groups and the village forest committees to manage the resources in a sustainable manner based on natural farming techniques, traditional knowledge, promote entrepreneurship, use clean energy, providing community health services.

Snehakunja Trust is also currently piloting India’s first blue carbon project.

Transformation in economic and development models: UNDP

According to the UNDP administrator, there is a need for a profound transformation in our economic and development models that will drive forward the protection and restoration work.

He also added that this year’s winners demonstrate that this transformation is already been happening.

Winners of Equator Prize 2021:



Bio-KG Federation of Organic Development


Tropical Forest and Rural Development


Farmer Union Maddaben Union Hareyben of Tera, members of the Federation des Unions de Groupements Paysans du Niger (FUGPN) MOORIBEN


Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited


Asociacion de Jovenes Reforestadores en Accion


Snehakunja Trust


Asociación de Mujeres Indígenas del Territorio Cabécar Kábata Könana

Costa Rica

CoopCerrado – Cooperativa Mista de Agricultores Familiares, Extrativistas, Pescadores, Vazanteiros, Assentados e Guias turisticos do Cerrado


Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda IAP


Pueblo Originario Kichwa de Sarayaku 


 About Equator Prize 2021:

A biennial award by UNDP is given to recognize community efforts of reducing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

The winners of the award will receive prize money of US $10,000 and the opportunity of joining series of the special virtual events associated with the Nature for Life Hub, UN General Assembly, and the UN Food Systems Summit later in 2021. The virtual award ceremony will be held on October 4, 2021.

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