Local communities living in localities bordering the nature reserves are mostly people who are subject to extreme poverty and depend on local natural resources to survive. Thus through the years these families have been forced to do logging and hunting of animals, in an effort to generate an income for their survival.ProAves established a pilot program, Women for Conservation, to help protect four of its nature reserves by promoting business opportunities for women living in the neighboring rural communities with support from American Bird Conservancy and Audubon Naturalist Society
The ProAves pilot program, which began in 2004, has trained women from four villages in the use of natural resources for the development of several products, focusing on export-quality jewelry made with tagua & seeds.
ProAves sells the finished articles in the shops on their reserves. In 2009 Amparo Crafts www.amparocrafts.com was established in the UK to market and promote goods produced by Women for Conservation in the international market. With the realization of events and participation in trade shows they have been able to increase direct sales and wholesale. The money is used to buy materials and to pay a fair wage to the artisans which generates a positive attitude towards the reserves by the local population.
ProAves also employs people in the community as rangers, guides and field assistants and to help with reforestation, all of which ends up benefiting the local people. They also design environmental education programs to integrate local children in conservation efforts.
Women for Conservation has provided some of its members with gas stoves and cylinders to replace the wood used for cooking. Medical campaigns also have been of great benefit to members and their families.
The articles made by Women for Conservation are made using mostly the tagua, also known as vegetable ivory because of its softness and hardness. Tagua is the fruit of the palm Phytelephas macrocarpa which grows in tropical forests from Paraguay to Panama. The tagua is polished, processed and cut into different shapes. Other seeds used in jewelry are: camajuro, bombona, coconut and totumo.
How to buy?
- Support Women for Conservation by buying items for Conservation from anywhere in the world on: womenforconservation.com
- Buy direct at Fundación ProAves office in Bogotá at Cra. 20 No. 36-61 in the Soledad neighborhood.
- Or in the eco-shops located at several of ProAves Reserves:
|El Dorado||Reinita Cielo Azul||El Paujil||Las Tángaras|
Click on the image to enlarge
Women for Conservation Initiative
With the support of:
Worldwide interest in ProAves projects
Rosie Boycott, founder of the female magazine Spare Rib and editor of Virago Press, along with Ben Okri, a Nigerian poet and novelist visited the Women for Conservation group at ProAves El Dorado Bird Reserve to learn more and spread the news of the project.
Women for Conservation on display
Friday 13 April 2012.
Women for Conservation was present at the International Spring Fair, held in Birmingham, UK from the 5-9th of February 2012, promoting and showcasing the great work that ProAves has done with this project for eight years.
Amparo Crafts has received a Fair Trade certificate in the UK
Monday 1 August 2011.
Amparo Crafts product marketing entity of the Women for Conservation project, has received a BAFTS (British Asociation of Fair Trade Shops), certificate.
Women for Conservation present in England
Thursday 17 March 2011.
As principal guest speaker at a women’s event in Manchester (England), the wife of former British Prime Minister, Cherie Blair, received a necklace from the ProAves led program Women for Conservation, which she wore during her presentation.
Supporting women for conservation
Wednesday 11 August 2010.
Amparo Crafts launch their new website www.amparocrafts.com, designed to promote and market handcrafts made by local communities in ProAves “Women for Conservation” program. This initiative seeks to alleviate poverty in rural areas around protected areas in Colombia through empowering women to produce and market fair trade and environmentally-friendly products.
Women for Conservation collecting palm seeds
Tuesday 3 November 2009.
The members of Women for Conservation show how they collect Tagua palm seeds in the Paujil Reserve, an amazing seed that looks like ivory and is used as an environmentally-friendly natural material to decorate handicrafts.
Medical checkup for Women for Conservation
Tuesday 2 June 2009.
ProAves provided a comprehensive medical and health checkup for the members of its Women for Conservation program beside El Paujil Bird Reserve. During the event, women and children received for the first time free medical and dental and school kits as well as gas stoves and cylinders to cook without using firewood.
Photo gallery, handcrafts made by Women for Conservation
Wednesday 15 April 2009.
These products are made by the group Women for Conservation. These products are a sample of the collection and each design uses different colors and materials. To obtain more information and purchase these products please contact firstname.lastname@example.org