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Equator Initiative Case Study – Tetepare Descendants’ Association (TDA)

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Tetepare Descendants’ Association (TDA) represents the legal owners of Tetepare Island, the largest uninhabited island in the tropical Pacific and one of the last remaining unlogged tropical islands in world. To help indignous landholders resist pressures from industrial logging companies, TDA pioneered ‘community conservation agreements’ whereby landholders and their communities are provided with alternative livelihood opportunities in exchange for a commitment to the sustainable management of marine and forest resources.
A marine protected area has been established as a permanent no-take zone, serving as a nursery and refuge for fish. Fish abundance has grown substantially, as have local incomes. TDA also operates a community ecotourism enterprise that provides jobs for community members. Training has also been provided in coconut oil production, marketing, and agriculture and a scholarship program has been established to enable local youth to pursue high education, trade school, and vocational training. 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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