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Equator Initiative Case Study - Chibememe Earth Healing Association (CHIEHA)

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The Chibememe Earth Healing Association (CHIEHA) is a community-based initiative centered on the small village of Chibememe, in Masvingo province, Zimbabwe. Arising in response to habitat destruction and deforestation in the Zivambava Island forest and the Chibememe mainland forest, the organization’s work has been driven by the 17 households that make up Chibememe community. Its work has spread to include neighbouring communities, however, with the development of environmental outreach and sustainable livelihoods activities that aim to sustainably manage natural resources in the wider Sangwe area and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park Conservation Area.
Key activities have included innovative efforts to raise awareness on conservation through the initiative’s Environment and Cultural Information Centre, as well as the processing of non-timber forest products, and promotion of eco- and ethno-tourism to capitalize on the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage. 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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