Countries in Africa suffer high rates of deforestation. For example, Tanzania loses more than 1% per year of its forest caused by unsustainable demand such as the use of charcoal and the expansion of farming land into forest areas. Local communities are often poor and the forests are undervalued.
THE IMPACT OF HONEY
Honey is a valuable resource that can be extracted in a sustainable way from the forest. This in turn gives value to the forest, helps preserve the forest and helps to lift local communities out of poverty.
Forest is a vital natural resource and protecting it is vital to the whole planet. But beekeeping not only helps to protect the forest but also helps to protect the animals that depend on it. Elephants can be killed by local people for raiding and trampling their crops. However, elephants hate bees and actively avoid them. Therefore, strategically placed hives can protect crops and protect the lives of elephants by keeping them out of harm’s way.
WHAT IS NEEDED
Charities such as UK-based Bees for Development and organisations such as Jasmine Bee (see the video above) understand the value of honey to local communities. They run training programmes to train local beekeepers. In this way, poor people with no land can produce a saleable product which can help pay to educate their children.
However, harvesting the honey is only the first step in the chain of preserving the forests. Once harvested that honey has to be collected, tested, filtered and stored. Honey processing centres have been set up with the help of altruistic organisations such as Jasmine Bee Tanzania and Green Face Trading, Ethiopia.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The final vital step in the chain of preserving the forests and the animals is finding a market for the honey. Without a market, the honey cannot be sold and therefore has no value which means that the forests and animals have no value. This is where we can all help. By buying this organic honey, you create the market that can directly preserve the forests and help lift some of the poorest people out of poverty. In addition to buying the honey, for every £10 raised, we will donate £1 to Bees for Development so that the next generation of beekeepers can be trained.
You can be a big further help by sharing our story and vision with friends. Please visit our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.
OUR FUNDING TARGET
Our first funding target is £22k. This will pay for our first shipment of organic African forest honey from one collection centre. Our stretch funding target is £35k which will help us to support more centres which in turn will help us to protect more forest.