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Equator Initiative Case Study – Association of Water Committees of the Southern Sector of Pico Bonito National Park (AJAASSPIB)

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This association of 27 village water committees located in the southern buffer zone of Honduras’s Pico Bonito National Park oversees the management of micro-watersheds and trains local communities in reforestation, conservation and the application of environmentally friendly technologies. A primary focus is ensuring local access to potable water in a region prone to shortages.
The association made the connection between declining freshwater supply and deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, ranching, and firewood collection taking place in local watersheds. The association brings together water committees who are responsible for maintaining water delivery systems, protecting water ‘recharge’ zones, and both collecting and regulating water-use fees. The association has reforested more than 120 hectares of land with native tree species. It has grown from four to 27 water committees and serves as a learning model for more than 80 communties across the northern coast of the country. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations 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--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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