Climate Action & Sustainable Agricultural Development for the Social Equity of Indigenous Women in Rural Communities of Costa Rica
In this initiative, Seekers Health Costa Rica Limitada aims to use its 75 acres of land for organic farming and permaculture, with a focus on viable crops. The Seekers Farm and agriculture will be maintained and harvested by indigenous women of rural communities in Costa Rica. Social equality, in particular empowerment of indigenous women and girls in Costa Rica, is essential to strengthen the long-term resilience of the rural communities and achieve effective cost-efficient climate action, thereby leading to equitable sustainable development.
The Seekers Farm is located on sedimentary land that is deteriorating due to the nature of their very steep slopes and high precipitation. This results in low pH levels in the soil and a reduction in the amount of essential organic matter and microorganisms. This is exacerbated by over 30 years of human activity and misuse through unsustainable farming practices. With this in mind, this project proposes a model of research and action that will contribute to the execution and replication of initiatives that are socially equitable, economically feasible, and environmentally viable.
A major component of this initiative is to encourage and involve local Costa Rican women. The economic issues of women in rural communities are many. With not much work in the countryside, villagers are sometimes forced to the city without skill or technical education in hopes of finding a job. Costa Rica holds the highest minimum wage salary in Central America, tempting local employers to hire citizens of neighbouring countries where minimum wage is far lower. As a result, migrant workers from Nicaragua in particular (where minimum wage is lowest in Central America), will work for a cheaper rate, hindering Costa Rican economic development and job availabilities. Employing and educating women in sustainable agriculture also has the added benefit of ameliorating women's’ health.
Read more on our organic agriculture plans here
The Seekers Farm is located in the Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica, an area in which developmental activities are carried out according to a conventional agricultural model that fails to account for its environmental impact. The lack of consideration for the environment in this mode of farming is having serious repercussions on the environment. The causes of anthropogenic climate change are broad – there is no single solution to this complex problem but many opportunities exist to reduce problems of climate change.
With this in mind, this project proposes a model of research and action that will contribute to the execution and replication of initiatives that are socially equitable, economically feasible, and environmentally viable. In addition, establishment of networks with key influencers (synergy between state institutions, civil society, academia, educational centres, private enterprises, other actors in management and knowledge) and the creation of means that would allow the launch of new strategies, will strengthen the capacity of the region to adapt to and mitigate climate change and promote social equity among not only indigenous women of Costa Rica, but for future generations as well.