The aim of our programme is to create new sustainable fair sources of income for women and rural families. In order to take into account the principles of sustainable development, the objectives are divided into three main goals: social, environmental and economic.
Gabon is rich in forestry resources, and women have a vital role to play in adding value to non-timber forestry products.
Rural communities are amongst the most vulnerable in the country. With limited access to education, markets and economic opportunities, they are heavily dependant on subsistence agriculture, hunting and gathering.
The sustainable development of those communities depends on the diversification of their sources of income, the effective management of local resources, greater market access and the transmission and promotion of traditional Gabonese know-how.
Since 2010, the Foundation has been using the incredible potential of the Gabonese forest and its non-timber products to generate new sources of income for people living in the country's rural areas.
We involve the beneficiaries from the outset, treating them as equal partners, which gives them a sense of appropriation over the projects. The Foundation teams carry out field visits to gain an understanding of the local environment and assess the needs of the target communities through enquiries and discussions.
As such, the beneficiaries are involved in:
- The assessment of the community's primary needs;
- The possibility of creating a new source of income by adding value to a previously identified product;
- The development of a community approach to production;
- The identification of good production practices and the improvement of product quality.
Moabi oil is a non-timber forestry product that is the subject of one of the Foundation's projects.
Moabi is a tall mythical tree that grows in the Gabonese forest (up to 70 m tall with a diameter of up to 5 m). It has multiple uses in the timber, pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industries. Moabi oil is mainly produced by women. It is obtained using a traditional extraction technique, cold-pressing the crushed seeds or nuts from the fruit of the moabi tree.
Moabi products can only be economically viable if rural women are taught how to apply best practice to traditional moabi oil production to ensure the quality of the processes used and the final cosmetic product and by putting the producers in touch with buyers to facilitate group selling.
Our four key aims are:
- to create new sustainable fair sources of income for women and rural families
- to protect and promote traditional know-how
- to contribute to the sustainable development of forest-dependent communities
- to improve the country's image by creating extremely high-quality products