|Sarawak Indigenous Group Bags UN Award, Cash Prize By Kevin Tan |
September 5, 2002
A Sarawakian local community has won the United Nations Equator Prize 2002 award for its outstanding efforts in reducing poverty and conserving biodiversity. Picked from a pool of 420 nominations from 77 countries, Uma Bawang Residents Association (Ubra) was among the awards five winners. The associations chairperson Jok Jau Evong said the members were excited and proud to receive the recognition. "It has been more than a decade. Its deserving [given] our hard work and sacrifices," he said when contacted yesterday. The award, which comes with a US$30,000 (RM114,000) cash prize, was presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, last week. The winners were outstanding examples of community-led partnerships in the tropics, which are best able to tackle the planet's most pressing development challenges. Ubra, which has a membership of about 100 people, was said to have successfully used blockades and innovative mapping efforts to defend customary land rights and access to forest lands.