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Equator Initiative Case Study – Village Development Committee of Ando Kpomey

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After a devastating bush fire in 1973, the village of Ando Kpomey created a “green belt” buffer around its community that has grown into a 100-hectare forest. A participatory management committee has been established to monitor the forest and its resources and to regulate its use. The community authorizes limited resource extraction to meet livelihood needs and manages revenues generated from the sale of forest-based products. Local women are authorized entry to the community forest to access firewood, significantly reducing the average time needed to forage for cooking fuel. Various crops are grown in the forest, including a range of medicinal plants which have served to meet local healthcare needs.
Neighbouring communities have been enlisted to protect the forest, and have benefited from knowledge sharing on natural resource management, participatory planning and forest conservation. The village hosts peer-to-peer learning exchanges to share lessons learned, and has done so with communities and organization across Togo and Burkina Faso. 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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