Iranian NGOs win UN Equator Prize

Exciting news from the wetlands initiative in Iran: the Umbrella Group of Naghadeh NGOs is to receive one of the 21 awards of the coveted United Nations’ Equator Prize.

The award will be conferred on 7 December at the COP21 event in Paris. This is the first time an organization from Iran receives this prestigious award. Over 1,400 communities from all over the world were considered.

The Umbrella Group of Naghadeh NGOs has worked to support the recovery of the satellite wetlands of Lake Urmia, situated in north-west Iran. Their contribution has revitalized a number of Urmia Lake satellite wetlands.

The project is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented by UNDP.

On learning the news, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Iran, Mr. Gary Lewis, congratulated the Umbrella Group of Naghadeh NGOs for their success.

He noted this achievement reflects a high level of recognition for one of the many sustainable development efforts which the UN is supporting in Iran. “This will further contribute to an understanding that the environment must be seen as a human development issue for the future,” he said.

The Equator Prize, which aims to recognize collective action, commended the innovative and collaborative approach taken by the seven community NGOs connected to Naghadeh. These community initiatives cooperated to restore and conserve satellite wetlands surrounding Lake Urmia. The effort succeeded in restoring over 1,600 hectares of valuable wetland areas.

The Equator Prize is the flagship programme of the Equator Initiative, a partnership bringing together the UN, governments, civil society, businesses, and grassroots organizations to advance sustainable development solutions. This international award recognizes outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty, protect nature and strengthen resilience in the face of climate change.

(Source: UNDP in Iran)

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