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Equator Initiative Case Study - Itoh Community Graziers Common Initiative Group

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Through participatory planning and mapping exercises, the agro-pastoralist Itoh community conserves land around the Kilum mountain forest for grazing and agriculture. This forest fragment had previously been under threat from encroachment for timber harvesting and clearing for agriculture. It is the largest remnant of montane forest in the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon’s Northwest Province. These forests support a high diversity of unique flora and fauna, including two endemic bird species, and provide a range of ecosystem services for the mountain’s local population.
Activities have focused on an area reserved for grazing, around which the community’s two ethnic groups have collectively planted 30,000 trees to demarcate boundaries, protect local water sources, and provide fodder for livestock. Some of these multipurpose tree species have had medicinal and ethno-veterinary uses, reviving traditional approaches to treating human and animal ailments. 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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