Women agricultural cooperatives ensuring sustainable livelihoods in climate and armed conflict impacted territories

Country: Palestine

Organization: Union of Agricultural Work Committees

Representative: Hiba Al-Jibeihi

Email: hiba@uawc-pal.org


Description of the project: By promoting collective, sustainable models of agriculture, the project supports the climate-resilient livelihood of food insecure women who have been dependent on humanitarian aid. The project has been successful in improving the climate and overall resilience of over 18,900 individuals in 26 communities in Palestine. This has been achieved by enabling 35 CBOs, out of which 24 are women’s rural cooperatives, to better respond to their communities’ food and water needs while facing climate change under territorial occupation.

Climate Impact: Due to climate change and armed conflict, small-scale farmers in Palestine are in a vulnerable position in terms of resilience and subsistence. UAWC’s implements sustainable, climate resilient agriculture: the seed bank assists cooperatives in selecting drought resistant crops; they also implement water management and compost systems, green roofs, trainings on organic food production. By supporting CBOs to re-cultivate this land UAWC helps them adapt to climate change and protect their settlements.

Gender Impact: Women’s participation in the Palestinian labor force is 17%, the lowest in the Arab world. This project has drastically improved women’s influence in Palestine’s local economy and policymaking. With their food products, women have found an avenue for participating and voicing their opinions in their households, and also in the economic and public sphere. Empowerment is ensured by regular trainings and skill sharing. 24 of the 35 CBOs involved in the project are women’s CBOs.

Scalability /replicability: The project builds the capacity of local communities so they can maintain their operations beyond the duration of the project’s lifetime. This has been achieved through UAWC’s local partnerships and by putting the priorities of the CBOs at the centre of the project. CBOs have been supported in establishing field schools and demonstration plots to spread good practices and provide on-site training. The project could be replicated with expectedly positive results.