The Kábata Könana Indigenous Women’s Association of the Cabécar Territory in Talamanca, Costa Rica, was honored this Monday, October 4, at the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 12th Equator Prize award ceremony. This award recognizes ten outstanding indigenous peoples and local communities from around the world who share local and innovative solutions to address biodiversity loss and climate change to achieve their local development goals.
This Indigenous Women’s Association received the award from Christiana Figueres, co-founder of Global Optimism and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and was chosen from more than 600 nominees from 126 countries by an independent Technical Advisory Committee of internationally recognized experts.
The winning projects of the prestigious award received US$10,000 during the Nature Center for Life virtual event. They will also be able to participate in several virtual events related to the UN General Assembly and the UN Food Systems Summit later this year.
This high-level ceremony included award presentations, videos on the winning initiatives, community statements, government commitments, musical and cultural performances.
Countries participating in this year’s ceremony included Brazil, Bolivia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Kyrgyzstan, Niger, and Mexico.
Check out the complete list of the winning communities here.
Learn more about the Kábata Könana Indigenous Women’s Association
In 2016, 156 women founded the Kábata Könana Indigenous Women’s Association as a place for economic, social, and environmental development with cultural relevance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the women put their organizational skills at the service of the territories that make up the Red Indígena Bribri Cabécar (RIBCA), in the southern Caribbean of Costa Rica, created the Indigenous Virtual Produce Exchange, an initiative that operates under the indigenous cultural principles of solidarity, exchange, collectivity, and dialogue.
More than 200 families in more than 15 communities actively participate in the exchange. The system is a network of links with the communities through “Weavers of Knowledge”. Via Whatsapp, the Weavers communicate from each community to Kábata Könana headquarters which products are available and coordinate their collection. For months, the women have led the distribution of food grown according to the Cabécar sustainable method and ensured the nutrition of the entire territory.