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Equator Initiative Case Study - The Nasa Project (Proyecto Nasa)

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The Nasa Project (Proyecto Nasa) aims to increase the political and organizational capacity of Colombia’s indigenous Páez peoples, who have been disproportionately affected by violence in the Cauca region. By strengthening regional political autonomy and exercising their political rights, the indigenous groups involved in the project have successfully lobbied for access to a greater share of public funds and services. Their struggle has led to legal recognition of the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples, including recognition of the autonomy of their communal indigenous lands in the 1991 Colombian Constitution.
This work has been complemented by a programme of sustainable natural resource management within the Nasa’s indigenous lands, which both border and fall within key protected areas. Sustainable natural resource harvesting and improved agricultural practices have helped to mitigate environmental impacts and underpin sustainable livelihoods for the Nasa people. 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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