The Power of Local Action for Sustainable Development: Lessons from 10 Years of the Equator Prize

updated 12 Oct 2012


The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. Since 2002, the Equator Prize has been awarded to 127 outstanding local efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. To mark its 10-year anniversary, the Equator Initiative has developed detailed case studies on all 127 winning communities.  With the goal of elucidating lessons learned on the ingredients of successful community-based action in environment and development, this publication provides a comprehensive review and analysis of these case studies, identifies trends and lessons learned on local best practice, and provides structured guidance for advancing community innovation in the future.  Links to full case material are provided throughout.       


The publication is structured around key lessons which concern: prioritizing the social strand of sustainable development; environment as a platform for community-driven development; local organizations as delivery mechanisms for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); the fusion of modern and traditional knowledge, institutions, and management approaches; the importance of communications and networks in behavior change; the centrality of land tenure security and resource rights; the delivery of good governance at the local scale; the potential for scaling; the potential and imperative of scaling-up success; and the importance of partnerships. 

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Africa 
Go to UNDP Global