Local and indigenous women are the keystone to reducing poverty, conserving biodiversity and successfully adapting to climate change. Children everywhere are the beneficiaries of Odyssey Conservation Trust.
Women of indigenous and local communities are agents of change.
As the primary caretakers of family health and education and the providers of food, water, energy and medicine, women play a pivotal role in the conservation of their environment and adaption to climate change. They pass on their awareness of the value of nature to their children and as such represent the main custodians of biodiversity.
Throughout Africa, women are the primary caretakers, holding significant responsibility for tilling the land and feeding their families. As a result, they are often the first to become aware of environmental damage as resources become scarce and incapable of sustaining their families.
Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize.
Women in developing countries are in charge of growing subsistence crops and can produce up to 80% of cultivated food. They collect wild foods and manage home gardens with vegetables, fruits and often medicinal plants, selecting carefully the best varieties of crops and edible plants depending on climatic conditions. By keeping small livestock and preparing food at home, they also play a key role in the prevention of food-borne diseases and zoonotic disease.
In low-income countries, women and girls are responsible for managing household water supplies and family health. Unsafe water and sanitation still kills 499,000 children under five every year. Walking through bushlands for up to 6 hours each day to access water or fuelwood considerably reduces available time for income generation, education or child care. It also increases risks of attacks by wildlife or physical aggressions by humans, responsible for the deaths of 250,000 children under five every year.
Adaptation to Climate Change
Women living in biodiverse areas have always carefully selected and grown a great diversity of crops and wild foods in the face of their changing environments. Their specific environmental knowledge which has been transmitted across generations make them play a key role in climate change adaptation.
Our projects deliver a synergy of results. Through supporting women, we have achieved landmarks in family health and food security, livelihood and the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage.
The outputs delivered in our projects contribute to 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).