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Equator Initiative Case Study – United Women Artisans’ Association of Los Límites (ASOARTESANAS)

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United Women Artisans’ Association of Los Límites (ASOARTESANAS) operates in an area of northern Colombia which contains the last remaining population of cotton-top tamarin monkeys. The cotton-top tamarin faces threats from deforestation and hunting, as well as human capture for sale in the illegal pet trade. ASOARTESANAS produces stuffed animal toys of the cotton-top tamarin, providing a new source of income while simultaneously raising awareness of the threats posed to this endangered species.
Members also collect discarded plastic bags and transform them into handbags, generating income and reducing pollution. Women who previously had little employment now make on average USD 150 per month. This artisanal recycling activity has removed over three million plastic bags from local forests and streams. ASOARTESANAS conservation activities also include community outreach and training in alternative energy, including the use of clay woodstoves and biomass pellets. 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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