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Equator Initiative Case Study - Regional Federation of Women's Advancement Groups, Ziguinchor

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The Fédération Régionale des Groupements de Promotion Féminine de la Région de Ziguinchor has worked since the late 1980s in southwestern Ziguinchor, in a region known as Lower Casamance. The region’s wealth of vegetation makes it an important forest reserve in Senegal, including the country’s largest population of mangroves.
Twin threats of declining fish populations (impacting catch sizes) and increasing soil salinity (a barrier to rice cultivation) were the catalysts for community-based action in the late-1990s, when women volunteers undertook mangrove reforestation to tackle both problems. This was supplemented by training in more sustainable oyster harvesting practices that conserved mangrove habitats. The federation currently comprises a total of 30,919 members from 1,274 affiliated women’s groups throughout the region of Ziguinchor. 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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