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Equator Initiative Case Study - The Inter-institutional Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture (CIPASLA)

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The Department of Cauca in southern Colombia has suffered from years of armed guerilla conflict, which has left a struggling local economy and high levels of poverty in its wake. The Inter-institutional Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture has worked since 1993 to make local agriculture more profitable and sustainable by introducing new high-value crops and encouraging agriculture-related businesses. Along with this work has come an attention to social welfare and community organizing that has helped to overcome the disruption caused by years of conflict.
Underpinning the initiative’s success across a broad rural landscape is an organizational makeup that incorporates six regional and local governmental agencies and authorities; five non-governmental organizations; one international partner; and the Cabuyal River Watershed Users’ Association, an umbrella group consisting of twenty grassroots initiatives working in and around the Cabuyal River watershed. 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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