It’s amazing how the purchase of a small jar of lip butter can help improve peoples’ lives and the environment in rural Philippines. That’s one of the outcomes from the 2012-13 Dragon Fruit
Lip Butter campaign from The Body Shop®.
As in other countries, the lack of livelihood opportunities is a major contributing factor to rural poverty in the Philippines. Providing knowledge of and giving the right opportunities to people in these communities can go a long way in creating more productive and progressive livelihoods and protect the environment.
This was reasoning behind The Body Shop Foundation’s selection of the Cambugsay Tree Planters’ Multipurpose Cooperative (CTPMPC) on Bohol Island, as one of the three Philippine beneficiaries of the profits from their 2012-13 campaign. Lip butter buyers were given the opportunity to vote for how much each organization would receive from the Foundation.
The Cooperative is a key peoples’ organization member of the Carood Watershed Model Forest, a 20,000-hectare landscape covering upland areas of open and closed forest, grasslands, agricultural lands and mangrove.
The Foundation funding has helped the Cooperative expand its existing 81 hectares with an additional five-hectare plantation comprising of more than 2,000 Ylang-ylang or Cananga odorata seedlings inter-planted with coffee and shaded with banana plants. The Cooperative also used the funding to stabilize riverbanks and develop ecotourism programs for students.
“This is such a good opportunity for us to improve, develop and be more productive,” said CTPMPC Chairperson Bernardita M. Albarando. “Now that we have already started this, with the help of the Body Shop Foundation, we are intending to expand this for the next five years with our dream to make Ylang-ylang fragrance as a signature scent of our place.”
A member of the custard-apple family, Ylang-ylang has high commercial value for the essential oils extracted from the flower and used mostly in the perfume industry. The essential oil is also used in aromatherapy to relieve high blood pressure, treat skin problems, and as an aphrodisiac.
“Our people’s organization, our mission and goals are to uplift the means of living of the community wherein they have no knowledge about caring for the environment, caring for the waters that we are, in the community.” The Model Forest organization, Albarando believes, offers an excellent approach to teaching people the value of caring for the environment, their community and help them develop livelihoods in a sustainable way. “It is an important initiative to change minds and attitudes.”