Empowering Female Villagers in Lake UrmiaBasin

In order to realize the general objectives of the project for “promoting public participation in the restoration of Lake Urmia”, which involve reducing the load on the water and soil resources of Lake Urmia Basin,CIWP has facilitated the implementation of sustainable agricultural techniques in the pilot villages of the project, while also performing complementary activities in various social groups including female and young villagers. Some of these activities include the implementation of projects such as “supporting livelihoods compatible with water resources” and “supporting the establishment of micro-funds for female villagers”. The livelihoods compatible with water resources refer to those revenue-generating activities which have the capacity to replace jobs that are not compatible with the environment. During the course of this activity, the aim is to reduce the revenue the families in the target communities make from activities that exert a heavy load on water and soil resources and replace them with other environmentally-friendly revenue-generating activities. The establishment of such livelihood activities will not only reduce the pressure on water and soil resources, but it will also increase the resiliency of the local community against fluctuations in the crop market as well as climate change (draught and other unexpected natural phenomena). Moreover, the goal of implementing the project for “supporting the establishment of micro-funds for female villagers” is to accelerate the process of funding and reinforcing the financial and savings capacity of rural areas, ultimately empowering female villagers through activities which are compatible with the environment.
Some of the results and achievements of the process for promoting public participation in the restoration of Lake Urmia through empowering female villagers can be summarized as follows:
•    Number of NGOs participating in the project: 12;
•    Number of female villagers trained for the restoration of Lake Urmia: 800 women;
•    Supporting the establishment of micro-funds for female villagers: 13 villages;
•    Supporting the formation of livelihoods compatible with water resources: 18 villages;
•    The number of established green livelihoods: 12 livelihood categories;
•    Number of female villagers engaging in the project: more than 400 women.