IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and WWF have joined forces in a new innovative programme integrating conservation, sustainable agriculture (agroecology) and livelihoods in the Oaxaca region of Mexico.
The indigenous populations of Mexico account for approx. 11 million people. These groups are vulnerable and characterised by poverty, often living in rural areas and subject to high migration due to poor land management. The Oaxaca region is one of the states with a high number of indigenous people, and is also one of the poorest, with just under a quarter of its population living in extreme poverty.
The three year partnership will improve the lives of 1,500 people in this region of Mexico, with mostly indigenous Zapotecs, who depend on the land for an income. The programme will see 13 Community Conservation Enterprises (CCEs), of which six are staffed exclusively by women, receive support to help consolidate and strengthen their businesses. Assistance will be provided on commercialisation, product design, market access, and the development of business cases. The programme will also seek to support governance and decision making structures to ensure that women and youth play more prominent roles.
By delivering long-term economic benefits for communities alongside with positive outcomes for nature, successful CCEs are crucial allies for conservation. Generating and combining sustainable ecosystems and agriculture with job and income opportunities, whole regions can regenerate themselves. Long-term livelihoods are improved, jobs created and the number of people in poverty and migrating is reduced. Benefiting from the diverse ecosystems of the region, the natural environment is better protected and managed, making a positive impact on the world.
“This programme bridges the gap between social impact and nature conservation, while supporting the creation of sustainable livelihoods including access to new markets in the region. We believe a holistic approach can help to lift communities out of poverty in a way that works better for the people and the planet.” Åsa Skogström Feldt, Manager IKEA Social Entrepreneurship B.V.
This is the first programme between WWF and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship. However, since 2002 Inter IKEA Group and WWF have been working together in a long-standing and successful partnership in the areas of more sustainable cotton and responsible forest management.
To find out more about one of the enterprises set to benefit from the partnership, read the story of Alternativa Agrícola Suchixtepec.