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Equator Initiative Case Study – Swazi Indigenous Products

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Swazi Indigenous Products is a member-owned natural seed oil enterprise that provides jobs and income to rural women, while protecting the ecosystems of the Lubombo region of Swaziland. Women are supported to sustainably cultivate and collect wild marula, trichilia, and ximenia seeds. The initiative also runs a tree-planting program and offers environmental education training for its over 2,400 seed collectors. The seeds collected by members are processed to produce seed oils, which are then used in the production of skin care products. To capture a greater share of the market supply-chain, the group created its own line of skincare products, Swazi Secrets. The enterprise has paid out more than USD 396,000 to its members over the last seven years. Additional incomes from seed collection have helped to offset healthcare and education costs, and improved the status of women in decision-making processes. 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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