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Equator Initiative Case Study – Alexander von Humboldt Center

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Alexander von Humboldt Center operates in one of the driest regions of Nicaragua and one of the areas most susceptible to hurricanes, severe droughts, and freshwater shortages. The organization provides local communities with training in sustainable water management and has drilled more than 40 freshwater wells and repaired 35 community water systems. The objective is year-round access to clean water using sustainable technology and building on community capacities. The emphasis has been on improving and restoring water systems that have fallen into disrepair.
Equally impressive have been the Center’s advocacy efforts for community water rights. Through public consultation, social mobilization and lobbying, the Center has profoundly impacted the evolution of national water laws, including Law 620 which made water a public resource and allocated funds to increase clean water access. 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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