SF Bay Area

Green Economy

First Person: Sharing indigenous knowledge with tourists

Indigenous Argentinian tourism entrepreneur  Hero photo alt text  Celestina Ábalos stands outside her home.

Ivar Velasquez Indigenous Argentinian tourism entrepreneur Hero photo alt text Celestina Ábalos stands outside her home.

After successfully reclaiming her people’s territory in Northern Argentina, Celestina Ábalos turned to tourism to share and promote her indigenous culture.  UN entrepreneurship training during the COVID-19 pandemic helped her business to grow.

Indigenous entrepreneur Celestina Ábalos runs a tourism business in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Quebrada de Humahuaca in Jujuy province, northern Argentina, sharing her community’s culture and knowledge of medicinal herbs.

“I am a child of Pachamama, Mother Earth. Earth is everything to us. It is life. We cannot conceive of ourselves without her. My community dates back 14,000 years. On behalf of 60 families, I led a 20-year fight for the right to land, education and freedom.

We used to live under a rental system where we had a landlord who delineated the spaces for us to occupy and to live in, both for sowing crops and raising cattle.  It was a life very much governed by what the master said, by the space you had to occupy, and by what I saw my parents having to pay at the end of each year.  These were very powerful moments for a teenager.

Through the process of reclaiming our territory I began to think more about how to make my history and the history of my people known. I have always seen, and I continue to see in the media, the stigma that is placed on us indigenous peoples.   I wanted to show and make the other side of the story known.  That motivated me but I was thinking: “How do I do it, how do I show this?”

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First Person: The honey business owner creating a buzz in northern Uganda

Sam Aderobu, found of Honey Pride

UN News/ Hisae Kawamori  Sam Aderobu, found of Honey Pride
Sam Aderubo started his company, Honey Pride, in Arua, northern Uganda, in order to make a positive impact on his community. With support from the UN, the business is taking off, providing work for hundreds of local beekeepers, many of whom are marginalized women and youth.

“I used to work in an office, and people would come to my place of work to sell ‘West Nile honey’, named after the region I come from. I was interested to see that my region was being used as a brand, and discovered that West Nile is one of the top ranked regions in Uganda for the production of honey.

So, I decided that I would come back home, and start a company to serve my community.

UN report: Value of nature must not be overridden by pursuit of short-term profit

Hornets serve an essential function to fruiting and flowering plants.

Unsplash/Aaron Burden Hornets serve an essential function to fruiting and flowering plants.

The values that we ascribe to nature are vital parts of our cultures, identities, economies, and ways of life, all of which should be reflected in policy decisions surrounding our natural world, according to a new UN-backed report released on Monday.

However, the new Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) assessment report finds when making policy decisions, there is a too much global focus on short-term profits and economic growth that often undervalue nature.

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Fridays on the Farm: Cultivating a Love of Local Food in Portland

Person tending to lettuce in urba garden

Stacey started working in the food industry at 15 in kitchens in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland where she found a home and community. Driven by a deeper connection to her food and a desire to create a community-centered space, she began farming on a small one-acre plot of land in northeast Portland in 2009 and turned her “Seed-to-Plate” concept into a full-scale catering business.

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Women building a sustainable future: fighting back the desert, amid Niger’s refugee and climate crises

Malian refugees tend vegetables in Ouallam, Tillaberi region, Niger.

© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse Malian refugees tend vegetables in Ouallam, Tillaberi region, Niger.
Internal displacement, regional instability, and climate change have created a refugee crisis in Niger, but an initiative in the town of Ouallam is showing how different communities can work together to survive and improve the local environment.

In the dusty plains outside Ouallam, a town some 100 kilometres north of Niger’s capital Niamey, verdant rows of vegetables sprout from the soil in neat plots. Adding further contrast to the parched surroundings, women in bright shawls walk among the rows, checking irrigation pipes and adding a splash of water to any thirsty-looking specimens.

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