Center for Sustainable Development

The Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable community- and culture-based development. Its main area of work is Iran and Southwest Asia. CENESTA experts have also engaged in extensive activities in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and in the international arena in general. CENESTA is a member of IUCN—the World Conservation Union and is affiliated with the University of the North (Iran).

CENESTA works with a variety of partners, from local communities in Iran and other countries to local and national governmental agencies, from universities and research organizations to national and international NGOs. The UN bodies with which CENESTA and its experts entertain on-going collaboration include UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, UNSO, IFAD, UNCCD and the UN Secretariat.

CENESTA has a small core of staff and a large network of associates—ranging from community-based groups to women’s associations and technical experts who act on the basis of common concerns and specific capacities. CENESTA staff and associates work in the context of project contracts and/or on a voluntary basis, contributing time as well as financial and material resources for the goals of the organization.

Set up in Tehran originally in 1979 and re-organised after the war in 1991, CENESTA is active in the following areas:

-Community empowerment and equity (participatory development planning, social animation, Community Investment Funds and rural credit schemes, women and development initiatives);

-Community health, environmental health and pollution control;
-National and international policies for sustainable development;
-Social communication.
-Renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass technologies);
-Sustainable agriculture (non-chemical control of pests, regenerative soil management, agro forestry, farming systems research);
-Collaborative management of natural resources (common property management, traditional management institutions for watershed, fisheries, water, pasture, etc.);
-Living with the desert (policy and practice on arid lands, nomadic pastoralism, climatic and vernacular architecture);
-Environmental impact assessment studies

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Iran, Islamic Republic of