While this Kickstarter campaign has ended, people who would like to support this continuing project are welcome to send us a message. We are especially looking for a video editing guru, contacts for honey distribution, and people with expertise in related research or honey quality assurance.
Over 90% of the rainforest in West Africa has already disappeared. Here is a practical solution for protecting some of the remaining rainforest... championed by someone who has lived in it his entire life.
We hope to bring together at least 100 supporters for this initiative by the end of the month. The more raised, the more hives be can built and maintained, the more honey and other good stuff come into this world, and the more people get a bird's eye view of how rainforest honey gets made - from hive construction to finished product. So here's your chance to become a part of something really special!
What is it?
This idea comes from Linus Ita, an African farmer and conservation leader who lives right on the edge of some of the most endangered rainforest in the world. Five years ago, he started on a simple but BIG idea: help people build good livelihoods AND preserve their rainforest through bee farming.
It turns out the lush diversity of plants in the rainforest results in some incredible honey. You can imagine: bees foraging in some of the densest, most diverse forests in the world - filled with organic pineapple, banana, papaya, cocoa, and plants not even yet discovered - can create honey unique in both its taste and nutritional value. This honey is twice as amazing because it keeps poachers and loggers out of the rainforest, improves its biodiversity, and encourages natural watershed management... all while helping local people to make a good living by providing you with this delicious honey.
In the above video, Linus breaks down how he plans to go about scaling up his beekeeping, from the land he will protect to the establishment of a honey house for purification.
These last five years, Linus has been tending to dozens of hives and training others to do the same... with lots of learning and pretty good results. But "pretty good" does not do this idea justice. In 2012, he wants to improve the processing of the honey and scale up this initiative to at least 1000 hives. Linus is a social entrepreneur, not a charity. He is putting his own money into the operation, at least equal to this kickstarter goal.
Ultimately, his goal is to have an quality operation to share with the rest of the world!
The plan is to do this in three stages:
- Raise $1,500 to help build 75 additional hives (or more depending on the amount raised)
- Raise/earn $20,000 to help obtain honey purification and processing equipment needed to bring the honey to a higher quality
- Raise/earn at least $75,000 to help design, bottle and export the finished product
Sound like something you could to support? Then please help spread the word!
Linus is looking for not only for financial contributions, but also people who could eventually contribute their design skills or distribution experience to the finished product and people interested in bee or rainforest related research.
About Linus Ita
Many years ago, Linus Ita helped found the Mfaminyen Conservation Society in his village, which lies on the edge of a rainforest with one of the highest rates of deforestation on earth. He has worked to bring practical solutions to surrounding communities that will allow them to live better lives while protecting the rainforest. Some of these initiatives have included establishing an organic cocoa farmer's collective, piloting an improved cook stove program, acting as a community liaison for the solar (PV) electrification of his village, and training people on alternative livelihoods such as mushroom farming and beekeeping.
Due to his efforts, he was named Supervisor of Budget and Planning/Due Process of a local government area last year, and he has since overseen the effective implementation of 33 community development projects. He also sits as a board member of the Cross River National Park's Local Advisory Committee. You can find out more about some of his works here: http://mfaminyen.org
What do honey and bee keeping have to do with rainforest conservation?
So besides rainforest conservation, why is beekeeping so great?
And how are you going to go about achieving all this?
How is this going to impact others in your community?
Any additional long term goals and dreams?
In the above video, Linus talks about his other long term plans for the area where he will scale up his bee farming operations. His additional long term goal is establishing a centre that will sustainable livelihoods and renewable energy. It will demonstrate methods such of watershed maintenance, improved cooking stoves, and micro-hydro electricity.
- (26 days)