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Equator Initiative Case Study - Alimentos Nutri-Naturales Sociedad Anónima (ANSA)

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Alimentos Nutri-Naturales Sociedad Anónima (ANSA) is a group of independent businesses, entirely owned and operated by women, which harvest, process, and sell the abundant and rarely utilized Maya nut (Brosimum alicastrum). The nut was once a staple food for the ancient Mayans but is threatened with extinction due to the spread of logging and conversion of land to agriculture. In the buffer zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, this initiative has employed community members to process these locally-available nuts to feed their families and generate income.
The group has also developed a project to combat malnutrition and dependence on imported foodstuffs by marketing Maya nut-based school lunches in local districts. By empowering local women throughout the region with the opportunities associated with the Maya nut business, the initiative is improving family nutrition, health, and income. 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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