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Equator Initiative Case Study – Sisi Initiative Site Support Group

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Sisi Initiative Site Support Group manages natural resources around the periphery of the Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area. The organization has established a 600-hectare community protected forest and developed alternative livelihood options for the area’s indigenous landowners. Developed in response to illegal logging, forest fires, overgrazing, agricultural encroachment and invasive species, the organization uses an innovative incentive scheme to protect the globally important bird and wildlife species in Natewa Tunuloa. Communities signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they agreed to protect the community forest and refuse logging concessions.
In return, the initiative provides alternative livelihood training and projects in beekeeping, poultry, handicraft and jewelry-making, bakery and pastry-making, and sustainable agricultural. The group’s model farm and tree nursery also help to reduce deforestation. The initiative has been used as a learning model for community-based conservation and forest management across Fiji. 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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