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Equator Initiative Case Study - Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

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This Maasai group ranch in the central Kenyan district of Laikipia has established an 8,645-hectare community-conserved area that balances the needs of local pastoralists with wildlife conservation and the operation of a lucrative eco-lodge. One of the pioneering and most successful of Kenya’s Maasai-owned ecotourism initiatives, Il Ngwesi has served as a model for replication across the country. Its sanctuary rangers ensure a high level of security for the conserved area, which has played a key role in a network of connected wildlife protected areas and corridors in central Kenya.
In addition to the areas of freshwater management and education, ecotourism revenues have been invested in targeted health interventions. The group is a lead partner in a health campaign which offers awareness-raising, testing and counseling, for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the campaign has targeted thirteen local group ranches for a combined population of 40,000 people. 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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