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Equator Initiative Case Study - Association of Forest Communities of Petén (ACOFOP)

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The Association of Forest Communities of Petén (Asociación de Comunidades Forestales de Petén – ACOFOP) brings together communities in the buffer zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve to manage forest concessions that collectively represent the world’s largest certified forest area under community management.
The initiative has ensured community access to the forest by securing legal forest concessions for sustainable timber and non-timber forest product extraction at the local level. Through pioneering use of certification schemes and biological monitoring, this umbrella organization has helped to conserve the forest’s biodiversity and improve livelihood options for more than 14,000 community members. The association is currently made up of 23 community-based organisations, each of which is represented within an equitable and democratic governance structure. 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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