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Action for Shea Parklands

If you love Shea butter or Shea oil you should be interested in the future of Shea parklands. Shea parklands produce the Shea nuts that shea butter and shea oil comes from. These parklands are now under threat.

The Global Shea alliance earmarked July 16th 2020 as Shea day. This is where the whole Shea  industry  would start a month long campaign to protect Shea parklands.

 

 Shea Parklands

Nearly 2 billion Shea trees grow naturally on parklands, dry savannahs and forests on a strip of about 5,000 km across 21 African countries, stretching from Senegal to South Sudan.

These trees grow naturally and are integrated with crops on smallholder farms, creating an agroforestry landscape that acts like a carbon sink. At present, the Shea value chain fixes 1.5 million tons of CO2 every year. Further, the parkland provides tree cover which contributes to higher water infiltration and reduced surface runoff, protecting against desertification and slowing forest degradation.

For producing communities, the Shea tree provides a critical source of income and contributes to the livelihoods of 16 million women. At the household level, Shea income represents up to 12% of the total income and up to 32% of the cash. Women collect and process shea fruits, kernels, and butter for personal consumption as well as trading purposes.

 

Sustainability issues 

At the global level, Sheas' functionality and alignment with natural and renewable consumer trends has made it a preferred ingredient in food and cosmetic products, driving increase in export by 600% over the last 20 years

Every year, an estimated 7,929,417 shea' trees are lost across West Africa due to factors including climate change, lack of fallows, commercial agriculture, and tree removal. If current trends continue, a projected shortage resulting in major interruption in the West African shea supply chain is anticipated by 2024. The realities of such predication will have major consequences on the income of millions of women collectors and processors as well as threaten industry sustainability and shea’s global competitiveness.

Sustainability Program

As part of its Sustainability Program, the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) is mobilizing industry stakeholders across the globe to ACT NOW and PRESERVE shea parklands. The three pillars, “Promote, Plant, Protect,” are mutually reinforcing. The “Promote” and “Protect” aspects address long term and systemic factors behind the decrease in tree populations, while the “Plant” aspect showcases immediate change and impact. While shea is the primary focus of the initiative, industry stakeholders are encouraged to include other indigenous trees in their implementation of the three pillars to ensure diverse and productive parklands.

You can join Action for Shea parklands here https://actionforshea.com/ 

Information from actionforshea.com