Women for Conservation

Women for Conservation

Women for Conservation helps protect the unique biodiversity of rural Colombia by empowering women through family planning services, conservation education, and sustainable livelihoods training. The organization was founded in 2019 by Sara Inés Lara to involve rural communities in habitat conservation around critically endangered wildlife reserves.

Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth but its vital rainforest ecosystems are increasingly under threat from deforestation. Women living in Colombia’s remote rural areas often lack access to reproductive health services, while also facing early marriage and childbirth, as well as high rates of gender-based violence.

Women for Conservation draws the critical links between the two issues, recognizing that thriving communities are better able to protect their natural environment, and that empowering women in particular brings deep and long-lasting benefits.

Women for Conservation works in partnership with bird conservation organization Fundación ProAves and family planning organization Profamilia to deliver workshops on natural resource management, habitat restoration, sustainable agriculture, waste reduction, renewable energy, sexual and reproductive health, and cancer screening. Women for Conservation also covers the cost of contraceptive methods and travel to family planning clinics, and helps women gain the necessary skills and tools to gain income from eco-tourism and conservation work.

By empowering women to take charge of their fertility and sexual health and to get involved in conservation efforts, the organization helps reduce pressure on Colombia’s biodiversity hotspots while also improving the lives of local communities.

Mother-daughter connection

Women for Conservation was created in memory of Amparo, Sara’s mother, a visionary who dedicated her life to the empowerment of rural women in Cauca, Colombia. She sadly died at the age of 42, when Sara was only 19 years old. Sara now runs the organization with her daughter Isabella.

“In essence, we are built on three generations of mother and daughter connection, passing knowledge, wisdom and passion. The lessons of our grandmother guides us to better understand the issues that women face. We dedicate our cause to the generations of women… past, present and yet to come.”

Learn more about Women for Conservation in this Q&A!

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