Qikiqtani Inuit Association Applauds the Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland for winning the UN Development Programme’s 2023 Equator Prize

Qikiqtani Inuit Association Applauds the Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland for winning the UN Development Programme’s 2023 Equator Prize

 In Media Releases

Celebrating Inuit-Led Conservation and Cultural Continuity

Iqaluit, Nunavut – August 15, 2023 –– The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) proudly extends its heartfelt congratulations to the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Greenland for receiving the UNDP’s 2023 Equator Prize for its work to advance an expansive, Inuit-led protected area in Pikialasorsuaq or the “North water Polynya.” This recognition underscores the pivotal role of Inuit-led initiatives in championing conservation, and nature-based solutions to climate change on the global stage. QIA celebrates the profound impact of ICCC Greenland and the Pikialasorsuaq Commission, a visionary initiative dedicated to preserving Arctic ecosystems and enhancing Inuit cultural continuity and well-being.

The 14th Equator Prize, an initiative led by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), shines a spotlight on the transformative influence of Indigenous peoples and local communities in tackling global challenges. This year’s laureates exemplify the power of innovative, nature-based solutions to empower communities to attain their local development objectives and cultivate resilience, even in the face of complex economic, environmental, political, and social disruptions.

At its core, Pikialasorsuaq will be an Inuit-led Protected and Conserved Area for the safeguarding of the marine environment and its aquatic ecosystems for generations to come. Through inclusive community consultations involving youth, elders, men, and women, the Pikialasorsuaq Commission is dedicated to preserving the ecological integrity of this ecologically invaluable region and securing its pivotal role in sustaining Arctic communities.

The Equator Prize win is a true testament to the exceptional leadership and dedication of our partners at Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland,” stated President Olayuk Akesuk of Qikiqtani Inuit Association. “This recognition underscores the importance of collaborative solutions for Inuit-led conservation in the Arctic. Our shared efforts are not only culturally significant but also indispensable in maintaining ocean health and addressing the challenges of climate change. We are thrilled that our collaborators in Greenland will receive additional resources to continue this invaluable work.”

QIA’s enduring commitment to the work of the Pikialasorsuaq Commission highlights its unwavering dedication to supporting Inuit-led initiatives that bridge cultures and transcend political boundaries. The shared vision of fostering an Inuit-led governance structure for Pikialasorsuaq resonates deeply with QIA’s belief in the inherent understanding of Inuit stewardship and the preservation of Inuit ancestral lands.

QIA remains enthusiastic about its ongoing collaboration with the Inuit Circumpolar Council and partners in Greenland to advance Pikialasorsuaq as a cornerstone of QIA’s regional approach to marine governance, Inuit stewardship, targeted infrastructure, sustainable financing, and fisheries reconciliation through partnerships such as the Project Finance for Permanence.

The online 2023 Equator Prize Recipients can be accessed here: https://www.equatorinitiative.org/2023/07/21/meet-the-winners-of-the-equator-prize-2023/

For media inquiries, please contact:

William Hopkins,
Manager, Communications,
Qikiqtani Inuit Association
867.975.8413 or

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