Asociación de Forestería Comunitaria Utz Che’
Utz Che’ is a network of over 40 indigenous and local communities and farmer associations representing about 200,000 people in the entire country, 90% of them indigenous. Supporting its members in the sustainable management of their resources, mainly highland cloud forests and watersheds, the organization guides advocacy efforts of marginalized communities confronting encroachments on their territories. Incorporating Mayan traditional and cultural knowledge, training and farmer-to-farmer learning exchanges promote the conservation of local agrobiodiversity, use of heirloom species, and sharing of best practices in forestry and agroforestry. The livelihoods of 33,000 families have been improved through the creation of family farms using organic farming techniques. Member communities collectively hold and protect 74,000 hectares of forest. Utz Che’ emphasizes democratic inclusion, financial transparency and a strong representation of women in leadership positions.
Equator Prize Winner: 2020
Year of establishment: 2006
Location: Palín, Guatemala