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Equator Initiative Case Study - Integrated Forestry Enterprise of Bayamo

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Integrated Forestry Enterprise of Bayamo is a state-run forest enterprise operating Granma Province, Cuba. In 1999, Granma was one of two pilot sites for an ecological forest farms (Fincas Forestales Ecológicas) initiative, which put reforestation of Cauto River basin in the hands of smallholder farmers. The working model saw plots of land assigned to interested households for concession periods of 30 years. These households were given responsibility for managing and reforesting plots of between 12 and 25 ha, and were encouraged to plant timber-yielding trees, fruit trees and medicinal plants. The initiative had expanded to three hydrological regions of the country by 2004; the result was the reforestation of over 3,000 ha of land along the banks of the Cauto River, and improvements in livelihoods and wellbeing for economically marginalized communities. 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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