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Woodchat Shrike © Michele Lamberti

Empowering women to make sustainable shea butter

Mon, 14/11/2016
As diverse woodlands make way for shea trees, a pilot project aims to ensure the ecological cost won’t outweigh the profits.
Sweep-netting to identify shea pollinators. Photo © J Stout

Shea butter nourishes more than dry skin

Thu, 30/06/2016
The benefits of shea butter are plenty, but the future of this valuable oil may not be as smooth. The shea tree’s surrounding habitat is steadily being stripped of diversely flowering trees and shrubs, impacting pollinators and diminishing yields. This loss of habitat also lowers numbers of insect-hungry migratory birds. A new BirdLife project, funded by the Darwin Initiative, aims to help crack this tough nut. Education, replanting, research, and collaboration with Industry form part of a pilot project aiming to soften the rough areas of Burkina Faso’s shea butter production.

Shea, shea everywhere, but no insects left to eat

Wed, 09/03/2016
The protection of shea trees in northern Africa against intensive farming is not the win-win situation for birds and people that it may seem.
Flowers of the shea tree Vitellaria paradoxa © Jane Stout

Learning about the birds and the bees in West...

Tue, 23/02/2016
Embarking on a new research project to uncover the secrets of bird declines and loss of habitat diversity in the shea zone of Africa, where shea pollination, biodiversity and livelihoods are linked.