Press Release: Uplift the Rural Poor, a Community Based Organisation from South Western Uganda receives its Equator Prize Award

Feb 24, 2015

Kampala, 24 February 2014 - Uplift the Rural Poor, a Community Based Organisation based in South Western Uganda has received its United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Equator Prize for 2014.

The organisation was awarded for its work with communities living adjacent to a series of three protected areas of Bwindi Gorilla National Park, Mgahinga National Park and the Echuya Forest Reserve.

In these areas, it works to reduce pressure on the forest resources and the important gorilla habitat while also creating alternative livelihood strategies. It focuses on capacity building, community-driven participatory planning and monitoring, bamboo domestication and tree planting, potato farming, and safe water access.

Uplift’s primary achievement has been strengthening the relationship between rural communities and protected area management authorities responsible for Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks and the Echuya Forest Reserve.

The organisation effectively supports community participation in natural resource management and local development plans, putting decision-making authority in the hands of forest-dependent communities. Rainwater harvesting tanks (owned and operated mostly by women) have been built in 17 water-stressed communities. A series of village savings and loans programs has helped to create small-scale businesses, while also reducing debt and reliance on moneylenders.

In recognition this outstanding contribution to the environmental conservation, poverty reduction and climate action, Uplift the Rural Poor was awarded the Equator Prize 2014 in New York on 22 September 2014.

It is one of 25 community initiatives that were awarded the prize last year after being selected from 1,234 nominations submitted by communities from 121 countries across the world.

The Equator Initiative is a UNDP led global partnership which brings together other UN agencies, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

Since 2002, the partnership has awarded the prestigious Equator Prize to 187 local and indigenous communities around the world.

Contact information


 For more information contact;

Luna Nagatomo,
UNDP Uganda,
Tel: +256 716 005 180

Beatrice Kabihogo,
Uplift the Rural Poor,
Tel: +256 772 585 858/859

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