At Goumbook, one of the ways we engage with companies to help them define and achieve sustainability goals is by developing tailored projects that align with their corporate objectives and brand values, while at the same time creating added social and environmental benefits.
Three years ago, we first started working with L’Occitane, with whom we share the key values of ecosystem protection and community resilience, particularly that of women and other vulnerable groups. In line with their focus on investing in women this Ramadan, we created a capacity building project to promote women entrepreneurship and life-long learning, while enhancing biodiversity by supporting pollinators in the crucial role they perform for ecosystems and food security.
Over the next weeks we will be training six women from Zambia and Bangladesh in beekeeping. They will learn all the necessary skills that enable them to set up and manage full apiaries to produce honey and other beehive-derivative goods. These amazing young women are temporarily in the UAE for either a vocational training or their university studies. Whether they return to their home countries or move on to someplace else, they look forward to establishing beekeeping as a side-business to diversify their income and become financially independent, but also to pass on their knowledge to people in their community and perhaps even provide employment opportunities to others.
We strongly believe that beekeeping initiatives for women in Africa and Asia are a win-win model that can benefit communities and the environment for generations to come by improving incomes, food security, and overall biodiversity:
Especially in rural areas, beekeeping presents an opportunity to generate income for disadvantaged populations who don’t own crops or farms. It can also generate additional income and improve food security in areas where agricultural production is minimal.
Investing in women is key to overcome vulnerability and enhance community resilience, which is why we want to empower our project beneficiaries through an expertise-driven and sustainable professional activity.
With this new project we are ultimately promoting the twin objectives of women empowerment and biodiversity conservation/sustainable use. We also aim to raise general awareness of the importance of all bee species as pollinators which are key for biodiversity and food security.