Equator Prize goes to Mediterranean Conservation Society for its community based marine biodiversity conservation studies


Gökova, Turkey (Photo by: Zafer Kızılkaya/AKD)

Equator Prize 2014 has been granted to thirty-five initiatives which represent outstanding local achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

Following a global call for nominations, the Equator Initiative received a record-setting 1,234 nominations from 121 countries around the world.

An extensive review process guided by the Technical Advisory Committee of international experts was undertaken over the last several months, concluding with the announcement of the thirty-five winners.

Mediterranean Conservation Society is the winner from Turkey

Developed in response to marine ecosystem degradation, declining fish diversity and abundance, and associated losses to fishermen’s incomes, the Mediterranean Conservation Society has created a network of ‘no fishing zones’ that put local fishing communities in the lead of marine biodiversity conservation.

Focusing on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, the organization is enforcing ‘no take zones’ and effectively communicating the value of sustainable fishing techniques in ensuring the long-term viability of the local fishing industry.

Community-based enforcement strategies are complemented by cooperation with regional and national authorities.

Fish stocks have grown dramatically, as have the average incomes of cooperative members.

Patrolling activities confirm rejuvenated marine species diversity and abundance in the bay, an important nursing ground for species that include sandbar sharks.

Hence, the Society became the winner of the Prize from Turkey.

The ceremony on September

Twenty-six winners will be supported to attend a high-level awards ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York on Monday, September 22nd 2014 as a contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit.

The Equator Prize is awarded biennially to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage.

To learn more about the Prize, please click here.