Africa-Press – Mozambique. Today, the Gorongosa Project named Dr. Marisa Rodrigues as Director of Sustainable Development. Dr. Rodrigues earned a PhD in Animal Breeding and Genetics from São Paulo State University, Brazil.
She has been a member of the Gorongosa Sustainable Development team, serving as Apiculture Project Manager, prior to this promotion.
She is also the leader of “Gender Mainstreaming Initiatives”.
Under the apiculture program that Dr. Rodrigues led, 17 Gorongosa technicians provide technical assistance to 350 beekeepers throughout the Park’s Sustainable Development Zone. Beekeepers receive training through three separate modules:
(i) Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping,
(ii) Apiculture as a Business, and
(iii) Honey Harvesting and Quality Control.
Next, the trained beekeepers replicate the training within their communities. The project purchases locally sourced beehives from a well-managed forest, as well as locally made bee suits.
116 of the beekeepers and eight of the technicians are women.
The project buys raw honey in combs from community beekeepers at a fair price, which is then processed, bottled, labelled at the Park’s honey house in Vila Gorongosa, and sold in domestic markets.
With Irish Aid support, we will now build a new honey factory that meets high-end requirements for food safety and honey processing.
As Head of Gender Mainstreaming, Marisa is leading a Gender Policy Implementation Plan with the following commitments:
– Gender equality and equity in the composition and management of human resources and organizational functioning;
– Inclusive participation in decision-making at institutional level and in communities;
– Capacities and competences in support of gender equality internally and externally;
– Programs and ventures with gender equality and equity;
– Combating abuse, harassment and gender-based violence;
– Organizational culture in favor of equality, diversity and inclusion.
The Gorongosa Sustainable Development department catalyzes economic benefits for the communities that live near Gorongosa Park through the sustainable use of natural resources– including eco-tourism, forestry, and agricultural products. The Department creates access to the market value chain for farm families. The Department has two core missions: create inclusive value chains and support livelihoods that restore and protect biodiversity. The activities are community driven, by: (i) integrating local leaders in the planning process and day-to-day operations of the project; (ii) hiring key members of the community with an affinity for conservation and consensus building; and (iii) coordinating with community organizations and local governments to deliver critical services in natural resources management, education and health.
Over the next thirty years, through collaboration with Government and private sector partners, the Gorongosa Project hopes every family in the Gorongosa Sustainable Development Zone will lift itself out of poverty. This will mean more productive farms. This will mean more non-farm employment in service industries, factories and construction. This means investment and planning in clean, green cities. The Gorongosa Project aims to be the economic engine that will drive this positive change.
Marisa Rodrigues will work closely with Elisa Langa, Gorongosa Project Director of Human Development, on joint initiatives such as Peace Clubs, Priority families and Sustainable Cities.