Prizes Go to Community Programs Doing Environmental Good

Competition for the U.N.’s Equator Prize — rewarded for community initiatives that reduce poverty and preserve environmental health — was so intense this year that there were seven winners instead of the normal six. The prize, awarded by the Equator Initiative, amounts to $30,000 — plus a dose of international recognition. Announced yesterday, the winners range from a community seed supply system in Karnataka, India, to a forest conservation project in the Rufiji area of Tanzania. There are six criteria for winning the award: impact on biodiversity and poverty reduction, community empowerment, transferability, partnerships, gender and social inclusion, and sustainability. Grist would like to offer hearty kudos to the winners, whose initiative and innovation not only improve their communities but offer our editors a ray of light in their sometimes gloomy slog through bad news.