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Mesoamerica

Equator Initiative Case Study – Environmental and Social Studies Group (Mexico)

The Environmental and Social Studies Group operates in the central mountain region of Guerrero promoting local access to safe water and training communities in sustainable land management. The organization has worked with local communities to reforest more than 500 hectares of land in an important watershed, establish more than 60 organic farms, and undertake terracing over 20 kilometres of hillside to reduce and prevent soil erosion. Central to the organizational model is full participation and democratic decision-making in the supply and distribution of water.

Equator Initiative Case Study – Alexander von Humboldt Center

Alexander von Humboldt Center operates in one of the driest regions of Nicaragua and one of the areas most susceptible to hurricanes, severe droughts, and freshwater shortages. The organization provides local communities with training in sustainable water management and has drilled more than 40 freshwater wells and repaired 35 community water systems. The objective is year-round access to clean water using sustainable technology and building on community capacities. The emphasis has been on improving and restoring water systems that have fallen into disrepair.

Equator Initiative Case Study – Association of Water Committees of the Southern Sector of Pico Bonito National Park (AJAASSPIB)

This association of 27 village water committees located in the southern buffer zone of Honduras’s Pico Bonito National Park oversees the management of micro-watersheds and trains local communities in reforestation, conservation and the application of environmentally friendly technologies. A primary focus is ensuring local access to potable water in a region prone to shortages.

Equator Initiative Case Study – Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (ADEMI)

Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (Associación de Mujeres Ixpiyakok - ADEMI) brings together 30 groups of Maya women in Chimaltenango to improve local food security and nutrition through organic family farms and seed banks. Originally launched as a credit and savings program for local women, the association has expanded into health and education service provision, as well as advocacy for women’s rights.

Equator Initiative Case Study – Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)

Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) partners with local communities to promote sustainable income generation and co-management of both forest and marine resources in the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor, a conservation area covering approximately 739,650 acres of land and the equivalent of 100,000 acres of sea.

Equator Initiative Case Study – Talamanca Initiative

Since the late-1970s, local NGO Asociación ANAI has promoted sustainable farming practices in rural communities living within the Talamanca region of Costa Rica. Home to one-third of the country’s indigenous people, the canton ranks lowest in many key socioeconomic indicators, including human development, yet is home to some of the country’s richest biodiversity. This natural heritage was threatened by overreliance on cacao farming as a monoculture, which has contributed to a vicious cycle of forest clearance and loss of soil productivity.

Equator Initiative Case Study – San Crisanto Foundation

The San Crisanto Foundation focuses on mangrove restoration and flood prevention in a region that consistently faces heavy rainfall and flooding. Since the Foundation’s establishment, over 11,300 metres of canals have been restored, and 45 cenotes have been delisted and rehabilitated. As a result, flood risk is reduced and populations and diversity of endemic wildlife in the cenotes and mangrove forests have increased. Restoration efforts have generated 60 jobs and local household incomes have increased substantially.

Equator Initiative Case Study – Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico

The Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico promotes a self-reliance approach to indigenous community development, emphasising sustainable livelihoods in communities working for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The organization, primarily focused on ecotourism and microenterprises, mobilises indigenous communities through a collaborative and participatory network with the aim of overcoming economic marginalization. The Network includes 17 groups in 15 states, and over 5,000 members.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Farmer-to-Farmer Program (PCAC), Siuna

The Farmer-to-Farmer Program (Programa de Campesino a Campesino - PCaC) has operated throughout Nicaragua since the post-war period of the early 1990s, as part of the worldwide Via Campesina movement which advocates for food sovereignty, agrarian reform, and democratic governance of food production systems.

Equator Initiative Case Study - Management and Conservation Organization, Uaxactún

Uaxactún is an ancient archaeological site in the heart of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, popular with tourists for its ancient ruins. Its 140 mestizo and indigenous families primarily subsist on non-timber forest products such as edible fruits, gum resin and palm leaves; their sustainable management of forest resources over the past eighty years has complemented conservation efforts, and has led to a productive partnership between the community and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

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