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Equator Initiative Case Study - Fish Production Cooperative Societies of Cozumel and Vigía Chico

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The Fish Production Cooperative Societies of Cozumel and Vigía Chico works to advance a model of sustainable fishing for local communities. Located on the tropical island of Cozumel, an international tourist destination, and in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cooperatives have a long history of collaboration dating to the 1960s.
Today, the two cooperative societies coordinate their fishing activities off the coast of the island of Cozumel, with a particular focus on lobster and scaled fish such as grouper, cod, and snapper. Together, the cooperatives support their 128 members to acquire fishing permits, collectively manage marine resources, and engage in group decision-making, using grants from the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme to improve market supply chains and increase the abundance and diversity of endemic marine 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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