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Bee-Jagual: Empowering Women and Promoting Sustainability in Rural Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for being a pioneer in climate protection in Latin America. However, there is still much to be done to ensure that sustainability becomes a core value in all sectors of society. One way Costa Rica can continue to make progress in climate and environmental protection is by expanding agroecological systems and promoting women's entrepreneurship.

In a nutshell: Agroecology is a scientific approach to sustainable agriculture that considers the environmental and social factors of farming. The goal is to develop and manage agricultural systems that are productive, sustainable, and socially equitable by promoting biodiversity, reducing chemical use, and encouraging recycling of nutrients and resources. Agroecology recognizes the importance of traditional knowledge, agricultural experimentation, and local adaptations in farming practices, and emphasizes the role of communities in making decisions about their food and farming systems. In short, agroecology seeks to integrate the principles of ecology and social justice into agricultural production and management.

One example of where exactly this is happening is the Bee-Jagual initiative in the mountainous region of Costa Rica.

Bee-Jagual is a collective of women who advocate for nature-based, chemical-free, organic agriculture and circular economy practices. In this regard, regenerative agriculture and agroecology are key principles that govern their work. Their goal is to produce tinctures, essential oils and cosmetics from indigenous medicinal plants in addition to producing food. The women of Bee-Jagual have made it their mission to professionalize their production and distribution so that they can sell their products locally and in the surrounding villages.

This not only benefits their own business. In this way, they work to restore damaged soils, promote biodiversity and reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture. This approach enables them to give something back to the earth and thus support regenerative development in their local communities.

The Bee-Jagual project is also particularly important because it aims to improve the often very precarious situation in rural areas and to help women achieve a higher level of self-determination. This is particularly important in rural Costa Rica, which is characterized by low productivity levels, acute unemployment and inequality. The Bee-Jagual initiative provides opportunities for women in these areas to gain more control over their lives and promote sustainable practices that can benefit their local communities and the environment.

We, Gespa e.V., cooperate with Bee-Jagual to

strengthen the women's initiative. The plan is to integrate Bee-Jagual into a larger project for the reforestation of destroyed rainforests and to promote the sustainable entrepreneurship of local women more strongly.

The partnership between Bee-Jagual and Gespa e.V. came about through a shared commitment to sustainable agriculture and social justice. Together, we want to create a model for sustainable agriculture and community development that can be applied in other contexts in the future.


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