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Equator Initiative Case Study – Samudram Women's Federation

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Samudram is a federation of 160 women’s self-help groups across 50 villages in Ganjam and the nearby districts of Orissa, India. The Federation works at the intersection of biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction, empowering its more than 1,500 economically-marginalized members with income generation activities, while conserving Olive Ridley Turtle nesting sites.
Samudram undertakes monitoring and breeding of the turtles, restores their habitats, implements artificial reef construction and promotes sustainable fishing practices to increase marine resource diversity. Meanwhile, women members and the wider community benefit from capacity building training, access to microfinance, and increased income as a result of improved fish yields. 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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