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Equator Initiative Case Study – Kanghua Community Development Centre

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Kanghua Community Development Centre (formerly Kangmei Institute of Community Development and Marketing) assists villagers along the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River in establishing cooperatives and resource management plans that promote the sustainable harvesting of wild herbs and protect giant panda habitats. Among other projects, the Centre’s work is addressing the unsustainable extraction of medicinal plants that has threatened pandas and other wildlife by damaging their fragile habitats.
Through training, on-site guidance and the development of standards for harvesting, Kanghua has successfully promoted a ‘giant panda-friendly’ method for collecting medicinal herbs, which has been adopted by over 20 villages and has added value to medicinal plant products being sold in national and international markets. 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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