The Man and Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has launched a training program in beekeeping for 50 women with which it wants to achieve the installation of 2,500 hives with which to recover 125 million bees in 25 biosphere reserves by 2025.
The initiative ‘Women for the bees‘will offer training and support to 50 women to establish their own beekeeping operations, while participating in a socially beneficial project, as UNESCO believes that beekeeping can generate income for disadvantaged rural populations and improve food security in areas where agricultural production is minimal.
The project is sponsored by the actress, filmmaker and activist Angelina Jolie and is directed by UNESCO and the Guerlain cosmetic brand and will be delivered with the support of the training center French Observatory of Apidology (OFA). Jolie will help in the initiative to promote the dual goals of female empowerment and biodiversity conservation.
Specifically, as of June 21, 2021, ten women from five UNESCO biosphere reserves will be welcomed each year in an accelerated training course for 30 days at the Domaine de la Sainte-Baume (Provence, France) of the OFA.
During five years, 50 participants will learn the theoretical and practical bases of beekeeping, including the management of a professional apiary. At the end of the training, the participants will have acquired all the protocols that allow them to maintain the life of their bee colonies and become fully professional beekeepers-entrepreneurs, and in members of an international network of beekeepers.
The program is focused on protecting bees, their welfare and their repopulation, as well as in education about bees, the program aims to allow the social emancipation of women through a sustainable professional activity driven by experience.
It also aims to contribute to the repopulation of bees and to raise awareness about their importance as pollinatorsas these insects play a crucial role in the pollination of 90 percent of wildflowers of the planet.
The Director General of UNESCO, Audrey azoulay, has explained that the role of women in the management of biodiversity and in decision-making processes is not fully recognized, for this reason it has highlighted that “support and promote their contribution as agents of change it is essential and a global priority for UNESCO.
“The Women for Bees program not only highlights our interdependence with other living species, but also encourages women to be designers of change, to create, educate and experiment with sustainable beekeeping in Biosphere Reserves designated by UNESCO as a way of living on Earth in harmony with other species. Such is the spirit of our commitment to biodiversity, and the purpose of our global partnership with LVMH. “, he added.
For its part, Angelina Jolie, as godmother of the project meet with the beekeepers and follow their progress. In her opinion, when women acquire skills and knowledge their instinct is “help raise other species“.
“I am excited to meet women from all over the world who participate in this program. I am looking forward to meeting them and learning about their culture and environment and the role bees play in them. I hope the training strengthen your independence, their livelihoods and their communities, “he said.
Conservation of biodiversity
For her part, the CEO of Guerlain, Veronique Courtois, has underlined that the ‘Women for the Guerlain x UNESCO’ program will combine two fundamental pillars for the brand that, the conservation of bees on the one hand and the empowerment of women on the other. “A commitment to one of the most precious wonders of nature and a concrete positive social impact for the women of the world. I believe that each one of us and each organization has a role to play to serve society and fulfill the goal of a more beautiful and responsible world that is bigger than us, “he concluded.
The biosphere reserves that participate in the first two years of the program will be Islands and Iroise Sea (France), Sila (Italy), Central Balkan (Bulgaria), Kozjansko & Obsotelje (Slovenia), Katunskiy (Russia), Tonlé Sap (Cambodia), Kafa (Ethiopia), Volcanoes (Rwanda) and Xishuangbanna (China).