UNESCO and Guerlain launched a cutting-edge program for female entrepreneurship in beekeeping, “Des Femmes pour Les Abeilles”, established in certain UNESCO biosphere reserves around the world. This program will be sponsored by actress, director, and humanitarian activist Angelina Jolie as part of its two objectives, the empowerment of women and the preservation of biodiversity. From June 21, ten women from five biosphere reserves will be supported each year within a 30-day accelerated training in the field of the French Observatory of Apidology (OFA) in Sainte-Baume, France. In five years, 50 participants will therefore have learned the theoretical and practical bases of beekeeping and in particular the management of a professional apiary.
“The role played by women in the management of biodiversity and in decision-making processes is not fully recognized, which is why it is imperative to support and promote their contribution as change actors. This is one of UNESCO’s global priorities”, as UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay put it in a press release. “If the “Women for Bees” program highlights our interdependence with other species, it also encourages women to be agents of change, to create, educate and experiment, through sustainable beekeeping in the reserves of UNESCO biosphere, which is a way of life on Earth in harmony with other species. This is the spirit of our commitment to biodiversity and the objective of our global partnership with LVMH ”.
“When women acquire skills and knowledge, their instinct pushes them to help others to rise up. I am excited to meet the women who will participate in this program around the world, get to know them, and learn about their culture, as well as the role bees play in their environment. I hope that this training will allow them to strengthen their autonomy, increase their income and develop their networks.” said actress Angelina Jolie.