It’s another key milestone for the first women-focused project of the biodiversity conservation foundation. At the same time, they’re able to increase their organization’s funding towards programs and activities that better support their wellbeing.
Through the BDFEs, women organization members are empowered as they gain access to income opportunities that are located and centered around their own homes and communities in and near forests.
There are several other social enterprises existing in the entrepreneurial industry, but what sets these women-led businesses apart is their biodiversity-friendly nature and the process by which they have become so. People’s organizations made a collective effort and underwent a rigorous evaluation to set quality measures and criteria for the businesses. With guidance from the Women Go Team, women leaders and members themselves went through the process of setting business and product standards to ensure that their BDFEs indeed considered the welfare of all life in their surroundings.
HARIBON’s Women Go project used the following 4Es of the BDFE Framework and elevated it for the planning and implementation of livelihoods:
- Ecological soundness
- Economic viability
- Equitability and gender responsiveness
- Enterprise Policy Climate (an additional criteria by Haribon Foundation and the Women Go project)
Instrumental to women's independence, the framework allowed community-based income opportunities and growth in funding, supporting their own gender responsive programs and activities.
The BDFE workshops followed seven steps, including:
- Environmental scanning
- BDFE scoring
- Feasibility and market study
- Business planning and formulation of a Local Conservation Agreement (LCA)
- Resource mobilization, generation, and partnership building
- Capability building on the selected enterprise/livelihood
- Livelihood/enterprise implementation
- Monitoring & Evaluation
It was a proud moment for the women of PP 1636 as they displayed the fruits of their creativity and hard work during a Partnership Development Forum in Infanta on October 6, 2022. They displayed their BDFE products, presented their business plans which included what support they need to implement and sustain their small businesses.
The women groups and their BDFEs include:
KALIPI Cablao: Walis tambo made from local tiger grass (rasa)
Walis tambo is part of the culture of the Sitio Cablao community. Making them involves the entire family, and results in a product that helps keep our homes clean.
KALIPI General Nakar: Ka-luya naturally grown ginger tea and other ginger product
Native ginger that is spicier and more aromatic than commercial varieties. It improves digestion, and is perfect for cooking and home remedies, and a convenient source of income for rural women.
KALIPI Gumian (coco jam), and deaf & mute members (oyster mushroom)
Coco jam made from coconuts gathered from backyard farms. Oyster mushroom growing helps supplement the enterprise.
KUMARE: Katmon, santol, and kamias candies
Enjoy sinigang and chili mixes made from indigenous trees like Katmon. Benefit from the nutrition and value of forest fruit trees, for people and the planet.
KALIPI Cawayan: Salay (tanglad or lemongrass) tea
Salay is the local name for lemongrass. Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, it is used for juices, soups, and home remedies.
KALIPI Infanta: Upcycled products with tote bags, foot rags, pot holders, and more
Help decrease fabric waste to landfills. Enjoy custom-made accessories made with recycled clothes and other fabric scraps: tote bags, curtains, and rugs.
KALIPI Real: Processed cacao beans (tablea)
Delicious, local, raw chocolate is great for drinks and sweets. Raw cacao is high in antioxidants and is an excellent source of iron among other nutrients.
KALIPI Magsaysay: Cassava, sweet potato chips, and suman
Healthy snacks made from locally-grown cassava and sweet potato. These rootcrops are known to be rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
KALIPI Tanauan: Naturally-grown vegetables and herbs
Organic vegetables grown and harvested with care by the women of Tanuan. Enjoy pesticide-free food, while supporting Tanauan communal gardens and forest conservation.
The event turned out a success for the women, and twelve (12) potential partner institutions, including businesses, academes, and local government units (LGUs), were impressed as they pledged to help the women-led sustainable livelihoods.
Through the BDFEs, HARIBON’s Women Go project managed to strengthen the women groups’ community and family relationships, capacitate them through educating them on financial planning, and improve their lives through crucial workshops and trainings.
By teaching people, in this case women, their intrinsic value to environmental governance and empowering them how to support themselves and their families, conservation in PP 1636 has become that much stronger and sustainable. Such community-based approaches have served as HARIBON’s anchor towards its conservation programs.
The Women Go project is made possible by the European Union in the Philippines, with the support of the Municipality of Real, Municipality of Infanta, Municipality of General Nakar, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Community Environment & Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) Real.