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Equator Initiative Case Study - Oyster Producers’ Cooperative of Cananéia

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The Oyster Producers’ Cooperative of Cananéia (Cooperativa dos Produtos de Ostras de Cananéia – Cooperostra) is a community-based organization centered on the Mandira Extractive Reserve in São Paulo’s Cananéia estuary lagoon. Launched in the mid-1990s following state-led interventions aiming at improving the sustainability, viability, and hygienic quality of artisanal oyster harvesting in Mandira, the initiative quickly grew to incorporate harvesting communities throughout the Cananéia estuary.
The cooperative’s work has focused on reconciling oyster harvesting with the conservation of the region’s biologically diverse mangrove forests. Innovative processes and technologies, including oyster nurseries and a purifying station, have been introduced to add value to oysters and enable their harvesting year-round, while the formation of the cooperative has allowed harvesters to circumvent middlemen and obtain fairer prices for their products. 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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