BEEKEEPING AS MECHANISM OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND LIVELIHOODS IMPROVEMENT by Alohen – Barefoot Beekeeping Team
The beekeeping project will promote conservation and tackling poverty at the grassroots level.
Apiculture is a powerful way of tackling poverty at grassroots level and protect trees and forest products, used as source of energy by a large community of people in the Global South. Alohen, partnering with Barefoot College, will establish adoption of beekeeping practice in Tanzania. Following its expansion strategy, Barefoot will further develop the project in Madagascar, Liberia, India and Pacific Islands, through its network of training centers worldwide. The main objective of the project is to create conservation awareness, empowering on the modern beekeeping methods, targeting women from rural areas and supporting them by creating local social enterprises based on bees’ byproducts. Such project was initiated by BC in Zanzibar in 2015, creating the B.Barefoot Honey brand to provide trainings and markets for local women beekeepers. Replication was initiated in India in 2016.
The project covers 11 SDGs:
- 1. No poverty - creation of local livelihoods
- 2. No hunger - local production of honey, known as superfood, and additional livelihoods
- 3. Good health and well-being - nutritional and medicinal hives’ products properties
- 5. Gender equalities - focus on women’s training. Barefoot is renowned for its actions towards women.
- 8. Decent work and economic growth - local creation of social enterprises
- 10. Reduced inequalities - actions toward women and remote communities, 2 pop. most impacted
- 11. Sustainable communities - beekeeping being one of the most sustainable livelihoods with only positive externalities
- 12. Responsible consumption and production - zero waste from activity and sustainable honey production following organic practices
- 13. Climate actions - forest conservation, pollination effects enhancing vegetation capturing greenhouse gas
- 15. Life on lands - maintaining quality of environment and biodiversity of pristine areas
- 17. Partnerships for the Goals - signed MoUs in every location with complementary organizations
In Climate Colab there are proposals that are complementary to ours and we would be honored to include them although we are not yet in direct contact with other Climate CoLab proposals, but we are looking forward to get in contact with some of the other interesting related proposals. Our goal is to help our partners fund plans that will reduce deforestation, promote reforestation, promote sustainable income for locals and communities, and defend endangered species. The related proposals that appear to be the best fits for our model are:
1. Proposal for Land Use: Agriculture, Livestock & Forestry 2014 by Sacred Seedlings.
2. Proposal for Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock 2016 by Kelvin Valley Honey
What actions do you propose?
- Beekeeping lesson to be introduced to the community that is how to start beekeeping, its importance to environment and community and the impact to the environment that will be as a result of beekeeping. Barefoot beekeeping curriculum training was specially developed in partnership with Bees for Development NGO, recognized expert organization in beekeeping programs.
- The establishment of beekeeping project that is onsite making of equipment (hive making, sewing of protective equipment…) to reduce dependence on external supply and maximize local spreading of the activity in communities, apiary preparation, and finding of bees colony, regular beehives inspection and maintenance, honey and bee’s byproducts harvesting for selling targeting local markets.
- The percentage of money obtained from selling honey and bee products will be returned to the community to support the conservation initiatives and self-sustain the initiative on the long run.
- Beneficiaries will slowly reimburse the cost of hives and equipment when selling honey to the B.Barefoot brand, retaining a small part of the price to be put on a corpus funds aiming to fund trainings and equipment for further trainees, in order to financially self-sustain the initiative.
- The community should learn the effect of afforestation and the use of trees as the source of energy.
The association with Barefoot College will help to combine actions towards achievement of the SDGs. Barefoot Solutions globally offer a road map for 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and a track record few global program can match, as detailed on its website: https://www.barefootcollege.org/solutions/
Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?
These actions will be taken by the local community members under the supervision from ALOHEN and Barefoot College, through our local beekeeping coordinators and field staff, and partnering with local Government and existing organizations (NGO, CBO, cooperatives, experts) of the areas.
From its 45 years of experience since its original training center build in rural Rajasthan in 1972, the Social Work and Research Center, Barefoot College now aims to expand its impact by constructing Regional Vocational Training Centre in various countries, partnering with ground partners and Governments in 10+ States in India, Tanzania, Madagascar, Guatemala, Liberia, Pacifics islands
Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?
These actions will start from Alohen or Barefoot’s regional base in each location, setting up facilities and settling in the country from there, and thereafter geographically expanding its impact by reaching remote villages of the mentioned countries.
We target a direct training and equipment of 100 beekeepers per year in each location, 1 500 in total over a 3 years course. On a basis of each beekeepers sharing their skills with 3 people from their community, a total of 4 500 rural people will be impacted by the described initiative during the funded period of 3 years, the income to be generated aiming to self-sustain the program on the long term. In addition, through a model of training-the-trainer, a selection of trainees will be able to conduct trainings locally at larger scale, thus developing the possibility to generate additional income from it locally.
Barefoot program stresses the importance of regular follow up visit in beneficiaries’ villages at relevant period (honey flow, preparing for winter, drought or rainy season) during a minimum of 2 years to make sure every newly trained beekeeper feel confident and are able to efficiently carry on their activity.
This part is too often neglected in beekeeping programs focusing on training the maximum of people during short period trainings.
In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.
What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
Planting Cover crops will absorb the nitrogen that remains in the soil after the previous crop has been harvested, making it unavailable for conversion into N2O that could be emitted into the air. In addition, the crops reduce the volume of water that flows over and into the soil during the winter months, thereby reducing the leaching of nitrates from the soil into waterways and slowing soil erosion, which is an important problem in some locations.
- Keep the soil covered with plants and plant matter (humus)
- Contribution to nature’s biodiversity through pollination
- Discontinue the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers – especially through environmental awareness programs to make sure additional incomes generated for small scale farmer won’t end up in buying agriculture chemicals
- Reforestation and reversing desertification
What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?
One beehive typically produces 25-30kg of honey per year with few inputs required.One kg of honey in Tanzania sells around US $5.40. In a country where the average per capita income is less than US $900 beekeeping thus has enormous potential to galvanize the income of poverty stricken local people. This apply for different locations we are targeting.
Usual challenge for installed rural beekeepers starts when marketing their product, that takes consequent time compared to the beekeeping activity itself. And their honey doesn’t often reach deserved value. By developing a dedicated honey brand, B.Barefoot Honey, we aim to tackle this issue by offering fair price for honey produced to beekeepers, ensuring quality of final product, and target valuable markets. All profits generated being reinvested to sustain and expand the activity. This is a major breakthought , local communities will take ownership of the brand and packaging developed as a toolkit by Barefoot College.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
Establishment of this project relies on the building and set up of facilities in each location, making of equipment onsite, trainings and funding of the running cost of the activity (transports to communities, salaries, development and sourcing of local branding and packaging material).
Main challenge regarding implementation of the project concerns the areas where we choose to be working, that are the most remote places, thus the one who usually lack of opportunities of proper livelihoods trainings, equipment and markets and need it the most. That implies a competent and motivated Team willing to do field work and interact with communities. Both Alohen and Barefoot College’s members are familiar of these since coming from rural locations and working for several years on the field.
Targeting a direct training and equipment of 100 beekeepers per year in each location, 1 500 in total over a 3 years course, each location involves the following inputs:
COST PER LOCATION: 318,000 USD X 5 countries
TOTAL COST: 1,590,000 USD
About the Authors
1. HENDRY TEMU the Program Lead
He is keenly interested in natural resource management and sustainable agriculture in ecosystems. He has gathered valuable experience through his work experience at Mineral Resources Institute Dodoma Tanzania.
B. Eng. Information systems and Network Engineering
ICT Officer at Mineral Resources Institute
2. ALOYCE MBISHA the Projects Administrator
An environmental finance and policy expert, proficient in designing and implementing projects and policy interventions in forestry, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has been a proponent of systems change and gained experience while working as Forest Technology advisor in Private Forest Programme Tanzania.
B. Eng. Information systems and Network Engineering
Forest Technology advisor at Private Forest Programme Tanzania
3. ESTER FESTO the Business Analyst
An Entrepreneur who has been involved in implementing projects and sustainable agriculture and who has much experience in community mobilization, Business management and institution building in the region. She has provided the technical inputs for the development of the proposal, especially related to the programmes necessary for scale up.
BSc. Gender and Development
Entrepreneur in Business
4. MARRY HENRY the Functional Lead
Has a multi-disciplinary background of forestry, wildlife and business coupled with environmental studies and resource management. Provides subject matter expertise for project functions. Accurately and effectively represents the business needs of the project and the inter-relationships, Provides guidance and insight for the Project’s roll-out within their areas of responsibility.
Master of Global Business Administration (Global MBA)
Entrepreneur in Agriculture and Network Marketing
5.Pierre Canevet. Barefoot Beekeeping Head
Working at Barefoot College NGO as Head of Beekeeping Program, Pierre leads the expansion of the beekeeping program and livelihood model targeting women from rural areas across Barefoot College’s Regional Vocational Training Centres worldwide. He relies on local human resources for implementation in each location, through strong capacity building. Coming from the western part of France, he has been involved in various sustainable projects through NGOs and corporations. Prior to joining Barefoot College in 2015, he was working in a large company’s CSR department in Paris, managing environmental issues.
Based in Zanzibar since September 2015, he initiated the activity there and is now providing support and capacity building of the local team on the running of the local B.Barefoot honey model, and he is conducting its Tanzanian expansion. He also started the beekeeping program in India in 2016.
Pierre discovered Alohen’s proposal when doing researches about Kilimanjaro’s area to start the expansion of Barefoot beekeeping program there. It then made a lot of sense to combine efforts.
What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?
The easier (smooth) succession of the proposed project requires good enabling environment. Such an enabling environment requires is as follows;
Government acknowledgement and involvement in the entire process of climate change adaptation and mitigation is the most important factor to be considered since they are the key decision maker regarding policy, incentives, legislation, implementation in all projects and proposals. It is good that Tanzania has a good National environmental management act of 2004 and National Beekeeping act of 2002 that favors conservation activities, beekeeping and all actions that mitigate against climate change.
The availability of funds will be Key to the successful launch, piloting and implementation of the proposed project. Southern countries are usually constrained of financial resources to allocate to a project of such a magnitude.
It will, therefore, be very necessary for the implementing organization to seek funding from donors, investors and willing partners. The idea here is to launch a major funds drive campaign both locally and internationally in collaboration with identified partners and organizations to secure the necessary funding.
Good political will from both the government and communities in each location is at good position favoring and encouraging the climate change combat activities, beekeeping especially in the now ontrack industrialization policy.
By looking to the key elements of enabling environments, priority areas to be strengthened can be defined leading to creating favourable conditions for sustainable development. It will contribute to achieve the commitments which eventually correspond to other global agendas such as the climate agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). This refers specifically to Goal 11 of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, as well as to other targets of the Sustainable Development.