The honey that restores mountain ecosystems to save pollinators

21 April 2023
Ysabel Calderon
Native stingless bees

Bees and other pollinators are in decline due to deforestation, pesticide use, land use change and the climate crisis.  

This also occurs in northern Peru, in the mountain of the settlement El Higuerón, in the rural community of San Francisco de Asís, district of Salas, Lambayeque; deforestation is the leading cause. 

So, in 2017, I founded Sumak Kawsay. This environmental venture promotes the conservation of native bees and other pollinators, thus restoring ecosystems. 

Ysa restoring mountain ecosystems

Sumak Kawsay focuses on producing honey from native stingless bees, which has considerable medicinal properties, and honey from the honeybee Apis mellifera. Both are produced in the mountains following agroecological practices. With this project, we also offer agrotourism through the “Honey Route,” with which we also promote gender equity. Women generate income thanks to this tourist route and in this way they can improve their quality of life.

Raw honey

The income we earn from honey production and agritourism helps fund the mountain ecosystem restoration project: reforestation with native plants, the conservation of three native bee species and research for conservation purposes. 

Restoration of mountain ecosystems

Thanks to the work of the Sumak Kawsay team and other collaborators, such as Earth Prayers, more than 1,000 trees have been planted, and we continue our research. We hope to secure more funding to expand and accelerate our impact, working together with the community and using their resources sustainably. Green pollination is our goal! 

Ysabel Calderon

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Supporting partners 2023

Supporting partners

The Restoration Stewards program provides funding, mentorship and training to deepen the impact of youth-led restoration projects. The year-long program is run by the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) under the banner of Generation Restoration to support and highlight the work of eight young restoration practitioners and their teams in 2023.

During the program, the Restoration Stewards and their teams are  supported to further develop their project and serve as ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards share their journeys in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges and participate in different international events to showcase their work. Locally, they are sparking a restoration movement, mobilizing local communities and creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for livelihoods and landscapes.