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Equator Initiative Case Study - Conservation Society of Pohnpei

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Since 1998, the Conservation Society of Pohnpei has worked to improve the ecological and social sustainability of a network of seven marine protected areas around the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. Through environmental education and biological monitoring programmes, the initiative has coordinated marine conservation efforts across Pohnpei, while encouraging a diverse suite of alternative livelihood activities for local communities to reduce human pressures on scarce marine resources. In recent years, the organization has supported MPA sites to introduce innovative monitoring and enforcement systems that combine modern and traditional approaches.
The organization also operates an environmental education program which reaches more than 8,000 students in 27 schools across the island, has engaged in conservation of important terrestrial forests and watersheds, and has partnered in initiatives to eradicate invasive species. 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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