Women's leadership, bio-culture preservation and fish farming project
About the Implementing organization
Name: Minga Peru
Year of establishment: 1998
Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status
Minga Perú’s “Women’s Leadership and Bio-Cultural Preservation and Fish Farming Project” aims to increase understanding and action to protect native plant species and develop sustainable ways of living in communion with nature, in the Peruvian Amazon Region. For the past sixteen years, Minga has been developing this project with the participation of ten rural and indigenous communities located in the surrounding areas of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The project integrates the following components: intensive leadership training for local women (between the ages of 25 -45) to strengthen their capacities and skills in bio-culture preservation, which includes Minga's technical assistance in nursery management and planting, reforestation and environmental education workshops on how native plants can be used as medicinal and income generation purposes without harming the forest. Another important component is the fish farming activity to promote food security, entrepreneurship and income generation. Fish farms are self-managed and because they require fewer technology inputs for operation, women obtain an annual production, between 1,000 and 1,700 kg of fish, improving their food security, especially during rain seasons. Minga’s overall strategy is to build on its long history of collaboration with local communities in order to promote conservation, support women's leadership and improve the lives of thousands of marginalised people in the Amazon.
Forests / Rivers / Wildlife
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Health
Through its initiative in the surrounding areas of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Minga contributes to environmental protection by sharing knowledge and skills with program participants on management and preservation of forests and local resources and practising fish farming and agroforestry activities in a sustainable manner. The application of agroforestry systems provides economic benefits in the medium and long-term and is favourable to the environment since Minga works in "purmas" (monocultural plots of land) avoiding the burning and cutting of trees and the extinction of plants.As far as fish farming activities and production, Minga encourages rural communities to work carefully with the fishery resources, avoiding excessive consumption of river fish and streams.Fish farms contribute towards diminishing impact on the environment by relieving the pressure of fishing in natural environments. This activity offers no risk of invading the ecological habitats and niches.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The project contributes to improving the quality of life of rural and indigenous families by providing fish meat protein and economic income through commercialization. Fish farming and agroforestry diversify the production portfolio of families, therefore, reducing extreme poverty, large periods of illiquidity due to the seasonality of production, and dependence on climate. It also generates access to labour and contributes to the reduction of rural-to-urban migration, where women and children become more economically vulnerable as well as to sexual exploitation.Fish farms are self-managed and because they require fewer technology inputs for operation, women obtain an annual production, between 1,000 and 1,700 kg of fish, improving their food security, especially during rain seasons. Health: Women will be able to allocate the economic benefits of this project to address situations of a family health emergency, mobilisation to health centres for prenatal control, and family planning.
Minga Perú has established a training centre as a base for its working model in the Loreto region to develop community leadership, communication and ecologically sustainable production projects. The centre employs a number of local professionals that work directly with the communities. It also enjoys its own recording studio and a training space called "Tambo Minga", for exchange activities, analysis, workshops and practices. In this centre, indigenous leaders, NGOs in Peru and across Latin America come together to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences. Minga counts on the recognition and expertise of a full generation of women trained over the past 20 years. Currently, Minga is carrying out exchanges and training for Tsáchilas-Ecuador indigenous representatives, Embera Wounaan, Panama, and in radio communication, it broadcasts programs on women's empowerment, landscape protection and preservation, conservation and culture.
"Women’s Leadership and Bio-Cultural Preservation and Fish Farming Project" is an ongoing initiative that has been replicated in Ecuador in the Tsachila territory and with the collaboration of the Tsa'chila and Shuar communities and in Panama with the Embera-Wounaan community. Through Minga's technical assistance and training on bio-culture conservation, leadership development, income generating and environmental resource management, the organization is supporting many community-based organizations and local cooperatives, indigenous and rural communities across Latin American and The Caribbean, including: Guatemala, Dominican Republic, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.
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