Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador
Developed in response to the uncontrolled poaching of wildlife in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, Asociación de Mujeres Waorani de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana (AMWAE, or in English, Association of Waorani Women of the Ecuadorian Amazon) is promoting organic cacao cultivation as a wildlife protection measure and a pathway to local sustainable development. The association has created a land management plan that emphasizes zero deforestation, organic cacao certification as a primary economic development strategy, and the management of subsistence hunting activities to protect threatened and vulnerable wildlife species. Community cacao is processed into organic-certified chocolate, creating local access to new markets and more lucrative revenue streams.
The association has been so successful at reorienting the local economy that the bushmeat market, which fueled wildlife poaching across the region, has been closed down. Women lead both organic farming and business management activities. Organic cacao cultivation is complemented by activities in fish farming, fruit tree cultivation, and the operation of tree nurseries, which support both food security and reforestation needs. Revenues from the cacao business have been invested into local education, health, and infrastructure projects.
Equator Prize Winner: 2014
Location: Napo, Orellana, and Pastaza Provinces in the
Yasuní Biosphere Reserve
Beneficiaries: 2,500 people
Area of Focus: Maintenance of Waorani culture, protection
of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, and prom
Find other Winners' Case Studies in our E-Library
Equator Prize 2014
Latin America And The Caribbean
Ecoagriculture and Food Security
Asociación de Mujeres Waorani del Ecuador, GEF Small Grants Programme
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