Ancestral know-how and innovative technologies help women producers of salt and rice preserve the mangroves

Description of the project: The DEDURAM project aims to improve the livelihoods of women and communities in the mangroves of Guinea-Bissau, through sustainable management of space, energy and natural resources. North-South knowledge exchange and capacity-building of women producers contribute to structure and develop the salt and rice value chain in the mangroves. 2000 family farms, 75% of which are managed by women, have adopted sustainable production methods (solar energy, reduced water consumption), thanks to the sharing of ancestral know-how and innovative techniques. 1500 women and 500 men have gained in autonomy through increased revenues and their integration into the local economy, while adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Climate impact: The traditional salt production technique – by heating brine – uses 3 tons of firewood for each ton of salt. By introducing the ancestral solar method used in the salt marshes of Brittany, Universsel has enabled women in Guinea to produce 4000 t. of salt while protecting 24 ha. of mangrove forests. Efficient water management in rice-growing areas has favoured the rehabilitation of abandoned rice paddies while increasing rice yield. This innovation, combined with geo-referenced monitoring, helps to preserve the biodiversity of a fragile ecosystem, and prevents further deforestation of the mangrove.

Gender impact: Salt is exclusively produced by women in Guinea-Bissau. 1500 of them have gained skills in a new solar technique, but also in sales, financial management, microcredit and the structuring into cooperatives. They enjoy better living and working conditions and greater recognition within a patriarchal society. They have become actively involved in the protection of their ecosystem as their cultural horizons have been broadened through exchange visits to France and Senegal, and they have been empowered within organized associations of women salt producers.

Scalability / replicability: DEDURAM promotes two innovative techniques which are affordable and easy to adopt by women producers in Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and soon in Senegal. The beneficiaries cooperate with local professional organisations and Government agencies. In order to ensure the sustainability and scaling up of the adopted technologies, rice areas management committees and women producers associations have worked together to draw up a capacity-building plan including the preservation of the mangrove and climate resilience measures.

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P3 – Women’s entrepreneurship and traditional know-how help recycle plastic and stop pollution in Ouahigouya

Description of the project: The P3 project – Plastic, Project, Pochette – fights against plastic pollution in the city of Ouahigouya by training young women in creative recycling of water bags, and promoting local know-how from Burkina Faso. Plastic bags, which pollute the soil and water sources, are collected and reprocessed in a creative range of fashionable accessories. Their sale on local and international markets provides a decent income to 22 women beneficiaries. Movement France creates stable jobs, improves living conditions, and stimulates a green and local economy. Thanks to a wide network of partners and a responsible ethical vision, conveyed through awareness-raising actions, this association promotes a sustainable and inclusive development approach.

Climate impact: The proliferation of plastic in the city and surrounding areas has significant health impacts on livestock and people, causing ecological damage, including GHG emissions. Citizens mobilization actions make it possible to collect about 300 kg of plastic per month. The recycling process chosen by Movement France, as well as all its activities, are part of a resilient approach, including the choice of sustainable construction materials, a photovoltaic installation, and the use of natural and biodegradable detergents for the treatment of plastics.

Gender impact: P3 currently ensures better living conditions to 22 employed women, providing their children with access to schooling and care. Freed from poverty, women are trained at all stages of the manufacturing process and involved in the orientation and implementation of the project through monthly participatory meetings. The structure gives young mothers the opportunity to organize their daily working time according to their availability, guaranteeing them great autonomy and flexibility in their work.

Scalability/replicability: Thanks to a virtuous business model and sustainable production methods, this project can be replicated in Burkina Faso and in countries facing plastic pollution. Technical training based on local knowledge is accessible; enhanced living standards ensure the commitment of beneficiaries. Movement France is creating with local builders an Artisanal Plastic Recycling Centre in Ouahigouya -CARPO- based on an ancient Egyptian vault technique using natural materials such as earth and stones. This center aims to create 40 jobs by 2020.

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SISAM: strengthening women’s access to Improved Solar Irrigation Systems in West Africa

Description of the project: SISAM project is an innovative solar irrigation solution (local, sector, affordable, renewable, adapted to the constraints of family farming) that meets the needs of 100 market garden farms, mostly managed by women who have little access to water. A local production line and distribution of pumps, known as “minivolanta”, have been built, as well as access to local microfinance (micro leasing). Activities include production, financing, distribution, maintenance of pumps and irrigation installations. The project contributes to the increased income of market gardeners, as well as freeing up time.

Climate impact: The development of local solar pumping solutions ensures a 100% renewable response to addressing water needs. The project allows market gardeners to ensure production in the dry season and provides training in good water management practices aimed at combating further drying-up and degradation of arid zones. By mitigating the carbon impact through technology that limits CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and international transport, and enabling adaptation and food self-sufficiency, the project aims to have a concrete impact on
climate change.

Gender impact: Women’s involvement is ensured at all stages of the project by taking into account gender specificities, setting up separate meetings and childcare, and dedicated trainings, and enabling participation in management. The priority targets are the farms managed by women. Although women make up the majority of market gardeners in sub-Saharan Africa, their access to resources and funding is limited. Gender impacts include improving women’s incomes, building their capacity, easing their workload, and empowering them.

Scalability / replicability: SISAM plans to reinforce and disseminate this action beyond the first 100 beneficiary farms. Regional and national authorities are involved in the consultation process leading to the signing of conventions. An impact assessment and capitalization process is planned in order to determine the modalities for upscaling. An information campaign on the effectiveness of SISAM solutions for food security and irrigation improvements, the development of the local economy, and a better quality of life for workers and households will be conducted.

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Women processing fish on the path to a circular economy at Guet Ndar, Saint-Louis of Senegal

Description of the project: In Saint-Louis, Senegal, fish smoking, a women’s activity, still uses expensive, high-emitting and polluting sources of energy. This pilot project proposes a sustainable, economical and ecological energy solution for a Group of Collective Interest (GIE) consisting of 700 women fish-processors. By recovering waste from their activities through composting units (organic fertilizer) and methanization, this innovative technology brings sustainable ecological and economic benefits to a highly feminized and low value-added business sector.

Climate impact: Saint-Louis is threatened by rising waters. It is crucial to mitigate climate impacts in this region. The installation of 6 biodigestors feeding 10 cooking platforms can neutralize 12 t. of methane and 252 t. of CO2 per year. Also, wood fuel savings and the composting of halieutic by-products into organic fertilizer greatly reduces the climate footprint of this process. A wide expansion of the process is planned throughout Saint-Louis, within the framework of the National Biogas Program.

Gender impact: The project takes a gender approach from design to implementation to evaluation. The benefits are multiple: hard work (collection of wood) is considerably reduced, as well as the negative health impact of wood burning; the cost of energy decreases and the production of digestate (sold as fertilizer) creates added value; and revenues from product processing are significantly improved. In total, the project empowers 700 women workers through decent income generation and sustainable development.

Scalability / replicability: The involvement of beneficiaries in the construction and management of methanization through an autonomous management structure ensures ownership of the project and its sustainability. The economic model is viable through the sales of excessive biogas and compost, which allows long-term maintenance of the facilities. This pilot, which involved local authorities, was designed to promote the transferability of technical knowledge and the replicability of the intervention method.

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Access to water and sanitation and holistic approach for an inclusive climate resilience

Description of the project: Kynarou is developing an inclusive and sustainable development model with 10 Dalits (“untouchable” caste) communities in Tamil Nadou, India. Starting from the supply of drinking water and access to decent sanitation, this project runs an exemplary model of sustainable and inclusive development with the villagers, ranging from ecological treatment of wastewater to integrated solid waste management, including the creation of 120 organic vegetable gardens. With this comprehensive approach, Kynarou aims to increase the climatic resilience of the entire Vaigai River watershed, counting on the support of local authorities.

Climate impact: This project responds to a key – but little recognized – challenge of climate change: the disruption of the water cycle, which influences local thermoregulation. It contributes to mitigation and adaptation through the protection of groundwater and the responsible use of water resources, soil regeneration through the use of compost and filtered wastewater, reduction of pollution due to waste. When scaled up, this approach can improve the resilience of a catchment draining more than 7000 km2.

Gender impact: Improving hygiene and living conditions positively impacts women in priority through access to dignified sanitation, which limits gender-based violence, reduces urinary tract infections and increases the enrollment of girls. In addition, this project promotes the work and autonomy of women through village management committees that enable them to access decision-making processes in their village and exercise their civic rights.

Scalability / replicability: Based on the needs of the population, and supporting the appropriation of infrastructure by communities through the concept of village committees, Kynarou has already replicated its actions in 50 villages, improving the lives of 100,000 marginalized people. Since 2016, South-South cooperation with Burkina Faso and Madagascar has been put in place.

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When circular economy works hand in hand with social inclusion

Description of the project: Rue Rangoli highlights solidarity upcycling initiatives throughout the world to promote sustainable consumption of eco-friendly products, useful and accessible to all, as well as economic integration. The organization launches partnerships with craftsmen who create innovative solutions for the environment and supports the emergence of green production sectors based on waste materials. It supports the creation of sustainable jobs for populations that are discriminated against (particularly women) and highlights craftsmen’s knowledge through salons and equitable markets. Beneficiaries: 12 organisations representing approximately 100 craftsmen and women.

Climate impact: Rue Rangoli’s products are all made with materials recycled from waste or materials meant to become waste (bags made by leather scraps, lamps made by printed paper scraps etc.) allowing the preservation of resources. The Rue Rangoli network contributes to recycling 350 bottles of soda a day, 15 tons of plastic in Italy, 25 tons of tires etc. All the products are handmade and use no (or little) energy.

Gender impact: Rue Rangoli established a partnership in South Africa with single mothers who are marginalized and supports their training to allow them to evolve in their work, gain competencies and develop their environmental awareness. The revenues generated are a source of empowerment and social inclusion for women, and the network helps them take responsibilities.

Scalability / replicability: Countries of the South have developed a true expertise in upcycling. Rue Rangoli wishes to use their knowledge in countries of the North and bring together all the stakeholders that work in that area. First in France and Europe, then later in the rest of the world, through the setting up of a marketplace. The aim is to make solidarity upcycling tomorrow’s way of consuming. Lastly, it seeks to raise the awareness of companies on circular economy.

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Building women’s capacities on seed conservation and agro-ecology to adapt to climate change

Description of the project: The project Seeds of Hope aims to improve resilience to climate change, food sovereignty, and the economic autonomy of women and farming communities in Northern India. It builds on preserving the biodiversity of the area and trains in priority women on agro-ecological techniques, seeds conservation and reproduction as well as food processing. Direct beneficiaries are 686 farmers, of which 95% are women. The French association SOL cooperates with Navdanya, an Indian association founded by Vandana Shiva.

Climate Impact: The project strengthens the climatic resilience of the region: agro-ecology strengthens the fertility and moisture of soils (organic matter content increases by 25% according to qualitative analysis), the conservation and reproduction of seeds allows for the rehabilitation of biodiversity, a climate mitigating factor. Yields have been improved by 20% and dependence on the purchase of seeds lowered by 50%; the quality and quantity of the food supply improved significantly. Uttarakhand aims to become a 100% organic State by 2020.

Gender Impact: In rural India, women play an essential role in subsistence farming and family nutrition. The training courses in which they participate strenghten their autonomy and their local democratic and political stature. The project fosters the generation of independent income for women, which improves their families’ living conditions and women’s human rights.

Scalability /replicability: The sustainability of the project is ensured by a 10-year partnership between French and Indian associations. Their goal is to extend the project to 15 new villages during the 2015- 2018 period, in order to use this model for similar climatic and agricultural areas, and to influence the Indian Government in the long-term for the promotion of organic agriculture.

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