Founded by local women in 2003, the Women Artisans’ Association of Arbolsol and Huaca de Barro (Asociación de Artesanas de Arbolsol y Huaca de Barro – AAAHB) works to recover traditional methods of cotton production that are environmentally responsible and create positive socioeconomic change in Mórrope District, Lambayeque, northern Peru.
The association oversees planting and harvesting of native cotton varieties using only pesticides from natural sources. In addition, the association has been active in managing water resources in this semi-arid region. Traditional colours of native cotton have been recovered, water resources are cleaner as a result of better management, and organic cotton products are sold in local markets. The association has been at the forefront of a national movement in Peru to change perceptions of native cotton production.
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.