The WWF and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship programme integrates 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.