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Equator Initiative Case Study - Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO)

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Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) has worked with rural communities on the Kikuyu Escarpment in Kenya since 1996, with a primary focus on forest conservation and reforestation in response to human pressures on the escarpment’s forests. The organization has evolved beyond this initial focus, however, into a flexible delivery mechanism for donor-funded interventions and a powerful vehicle for holistic local development.
The current range of activities includes selling affordable fuel-efficient stoves to poor farming households; distributing mosquito nets to combat increased incidence of malaria in escarpment communities; encouraging bee-keeping and fish-farming as alternative livelihood activities for farmers; facilitating conflict resolution over water access between local tribes; a comprehensive environmental education program; and developing ecotourism through the creation of an eco-lodge in partnership with a local Maasai tribe. 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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