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Equator Initiative Case Study - Poloprobio

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This research institute, based in the Brazilian state of Acre, devised a method for the artisanal processing of raw latex obtained from Hevea brasiliensis rubber trees, suitable for small-scale production in forest-based communities of indigenous rubber tappers in the Brazilian Amazon. Replicating the technology is a highly individualized process, taking into account the social and cultural setting of each client community as well as the difficulties of establishing forest-based production.
The technology is currently being used at 11 sites across four Brazilian states, benefitting a total of 600 people, including communities from the indigenous Kaxinawá, Shanenawa, Apurinã, and Kaxarari tribes. A kilogram of rubber processed by conventional methods is typically sold at around BRL 3.50 (USD 2.20); when processed into high-quality products using Poloprobio’s method, one kilogram of rubber is now worth on average BRL 50.00 (USD 30). 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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