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Equator Initiative Case Study – Environmental and Social Studies Group (Mexico)

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The Environmental and Social Studies Group operates in the central mountain region of Guerrero promoting local access to safe water and training communities in sustainable land management. The organization has worked with local communities to reforest more than 500 hectares of land in an important watershed, establish more than 60 organic farms, and undertake terracing over 20 kilometres of hillside to reduce and prevent soil erosion. Central to the organizational model is full participation and democratic decision-making in the supply and distribution of water.
The group has also promoted more sustainable livestock herding, and the development of alternative livelihoods. Mezcal maguey is planted in reforested areas to provide community members with an additional source of income. The organization also works with eight women’s self-help groups to provide workshops and capacity building in the drying and canning of local foods, reintroducing traditional crops, and household level water management and sanitation systems. 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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