Support for environmentally sustainable female micro-entrepreneurship in rural tourism aimed at the resilience of vulnerable sectors

International Cooperation Project

3 years (2020-2023)

The project, funded by AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation), is promoted by Persone Come Noi (PCN) and its local Cape Verde counterpart, Organização das Mulheres de Cabo Verde (OMCV). The project aims at improving the living conditions in marginal rural areas of the Republic of Cape Verde, supporting the resilience of the most vulnerable populations with particular attention to women empowerment, gender equity and environmental sustainability. Specifically, the project promotes the resilience of vulnerable households and their inclusion in the generative growth dynamics of rural tourism development while respecting environmental sustainability and safeguarding biodiversity in three highly marginal areas. 

The objective will be achieved by proposing an offer of quality services related to the preservation and enhancement of environmental and cultural resources of the territory through the support of micro-entrepreneurship, particularly for women. 

The three mountain areas of the islands of Santiago, Santo Antão and Fogo are characterised by the presence of natural parks, but the 12 communities located in the immediately adjacent area are characterised by pure subsistence farming with a family income that is 40% lower than the national average. Given the constraints imposed by the presence of the parks, they do not have the capacity or facilities to offer effective tourism services that can sustainably increase agricultural income. In particular, women, who are often the heads of families, are highly vulnerable due to a lack of training, tools and financial resources. They supplement their agricultural income with seasonal migration, causing serious family imbalances and unsustainable workloads. 

The key to positive change has been identified in the enhancement of the environmental heritage and its connection to the promotion of responsible mountain tourism. Additionally there are tools identified in inter-institutional collaboration to provide assistance in the preparation of sustainable tourism, including the training of women and financial support for investments. The Guidelines for the development of sustainable rural tourism have been prepared in collaboration among UNESCO Chair, Natural Park of the Maritime Alps and other local partners.

The actions envisaged for the achievement of the project aim for the following results: 

  1. Establishment of a network of local stakeholders, assisted by international partners, to enhance resources in an inclusive and sustainable and inclusive way that benefits vulnerable sectors and promotes gender equity; 
  2. Make available targeted tourist offers able to safeguard and enhance the environmental, economic and cultural resources present; 
  3. Activate the offer and set up decentralised economic entities able to guarantee the sustainability benefits to the local population, in a framework of economic, environmental and gender sustainability. 

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