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Equator Initiative Case Study – Women and Earth (Tajikistan)

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Women and Earth works to attain access to land for landless farmers, support diversified farming methods, and promote the conservation of biodiversity through responsible natural resource management. Over 2,000 landless farmers have received land parcels as a result of the group’s advocacy, and solar vegetable dryers, solar-powered greenhouses and energy-efficient ovens have been provided to poor households.
The group has also established twelve ‘field schools’ where it teaches eco-agriculture techniques. These ‘field schools’ produce over 1,000 tons of vegetables annually. Two community orchards contain over 10,000 trees, mostly traditional varieties of apple, pear, grape, apricot and peach. Diversification of crops has prevented land degradation, strengthened food security, and improved local incomes. Over 30 ‘seed banks’ and 30 ‘revolving funds’ have been launched to create opportunities for local entrepreneurs, with a percentage of resulting revenues reinvested into community works projects, including in health and education. 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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