`Wild Honey’ programme initiated for mountain dependent communities of Chitral

PESHAWAR:A social entrepreneur programme has been initiated in mountainous Chitral district with the help of locals, beekeepers and honey collectors for generating sustainable eco-friendly livelihood for mountain dependent communities.

“The programme is initiated through launching of Chitral Wild Honey, a local brand whose two percent of profit will go for forest restoration and biodiversity conservation,” informed Irshad Rabbani, Head of the Entrepreneur.

“The objective of the programme is to reduce pressure on natural forest and mountain ecosystem by creating livelihood for mountain dependent communities through engaging them in a profit earning initiative,” said Irshad Rabbani.

Talking with reporter on Monday, Irshad said that this social entrepreneur initiative strongly believed in pay for ecosystem service and when a single jar of honey was sold, 2% of the amount goes for forest restoration and biodiversity conservation in Chitral which could be used in conservation of bee flora, engaging local for forest conservation and tree planting in the degraded and deforested forest sites.

“Chitral Wild Honey is a local honey brand, we have group’s of local collectors and beekeepers in Chitral who are supplying us the wild honey collecting from forest and mountain.”

This initiative is also in line with Pakistan’s flagship project – Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program & Billion Tree Honey initiative and also contribute to the sustainable development Goals, he added.

“Chitral Wild Honey is organic, ethically source, limited but have great taste and medicinal value, we have wild bee floras which are free from fertilizers and pesticides and the water use by the bees are free from contamination and from the glaciers and Spring of Hindukush Mountains,” he claimed.

“We have limited Production (1000 kgs annually) and it’s special and organic in nature. We have 550 small marginalized beekeepers/honey harvesters who directly depends on mountains and forest for their livelihoods and other needs.”

Irshad Rabbani said his organization aimed to build this brand national and internationally to empower and sustain local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation in Chitral, Pakistan.

For this purpose, he continued, efforts were underway and different plans were under consideration for promotion of the product to make the initiative a successful eco-friendly programme through generating sustainable livelihood.