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Equator Initiative Case Study – Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico

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The Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico promotes a self-reliance approach to indigenous community development, emphasising sustainable livelihoods in communities working for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The organization, primarily focused on ecotourism and microenterprises, mobilises indigenous communities through a collaborative and participatory network with the aim of overcoming economic marginalization. The Network includes 17 groups in 15 states, and over 5,000 members. It is leveraged to attract investment, offer training, find markets for local products, and advocate for indigenous rights. Training services focus on improving the operational, administrative, and financial capacity of indigenous microenterprise. Artisans are trained to use local materials and to cultivate herbal and medicinal plants, and ‘tourism circuits’ have been established to direct income generating opportunities to the Network’s members. 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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