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Equator Initiative Case Study - MESCOT

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MESCOT works in forest rehabilitation, ecotourism, and invasive species eradication to improve livelihood options for the community of Batu Puteh, in the Lower Kinabatangan region of Malaysia. This area has been documented as a site of mega-biodiversity due to its concentration of lowland wildlife, particularly large mammals and primates.
One of MESCOT’s key projects has been eradicating the invasive Salvinia molesta. In 2001, floods introduced the species into Tungog Lake, used by the Batu Puteh community for fishing: within 16 months, the lake was completely covered. MESCOT mobilized a vast volunteer effort in 2005 to remove the weeds from the surface and bottom of this endangered freshwater habitat. Revenues from ecotourism have funded ongoing eradication efforts. 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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