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Alianza Biodiversidad (Biodiversity Alliance) is a collective platform that brings together ten key organisations and movements in Latin America and the Caribbean.
It was born from the convergence of two communications projects: the magazine Biodiversidad, Sustento y Culturas (Biodiversity, Sustenance and Cultures) and the website Biodiversidad en América Latina y el Caribe (Biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean), started by Acción por la Biodiversidad.
In the past 24 years, the magazine and website have become key points of reference in defence of rural smallholder food production systems, putting the central focus on the factors most important to their recovery: the defence of the lands, biodiversity and seeds of indigenous and rural people. They also promote agro-ecological farming practices and food sovereignty.
For Alianza Biodiversidad, this task is fundamental to the regeneration of the global ecosystem, as it is the basis for the future possibility of producing food without destroying ecosystems and at the same time is the key to the feeding of humanity.
Climate change has been making life on Pemba Island, part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, more and more precarious. Community Forests Pemba has been innovating ways of living and working that combat poverty and inequality while also increasing resilience.
All its activities are designed to regenerate the natural systems that people rely on. Inspired by both permaculture and agroforestry, CFP has created The Spice Forest. The polyculture approach of this project combines natural forest restoration with climate-smart spice farming and provides an important stream of income for the community. The forest is run by a farmer-owned co-operative established by CFP.
They have planted over two million trees; converted over 150 hectares of degraded land; and trained over 10,000 rural farmers and women in regenerative livelihoods. They also run a Rural Innovation Campus dedicated to regenerative solutions to climate change, where people from around the world come to learn from grassroots leaders in Pemba.
Guba was established in 2009 to explore solutions for an equitable society. Its vision is for all people in Eswatini (Swaziland) to have secure access to nutritious food, clean water, shelter and economic stability through their own energies, utilising solutions that nurture their physical and social environments.
Guba focuses on abundant food systems, social innovation, supporting local entrepreneurship, transformative learning and appropriate technologies. As a permaculture training centre, Guba offers education programmes for children, youth and adults on homestead agriculture, food security, ecological capacity building and income generation, with a view to promoting increased resilience and wellbeing.
The Guba Farm Playschool delivers inspiring, holistic learning and guidance to a diverse community of children. Guba operates from a small permaculture farm that demonstrates earth and timber building, combined with off-grid solar energy and water harvesting systems. Guba runs monthly farm tours and regularly host visits from surrounding primary and secondary schools.
Through food, art, culture and nature, Guba offers a community connectedness that is both clear and enriching.
INSO was founded in 1991 to support communities with regenerative social and ecological initiatives in the diverse state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Its flagship ‘Slow Water’ project aims to address the Central Valley’s watershed crisis, where the speed with which water flows impacts on both its communities and its ecosystems.
INSO remains deeply engrained in grass-roots culture, while its Oaxacan Water Forum has brought community stakeholders together with NGOs, the private sector, and governmental and academic institutions. It takes an integrated approach by combining traditional wisdom and community organisation with modern knowledge and techniques.
INSO has also established two vibrant Regeneration and Permaculture Demonstration Sites, providing workshops, training and examples of regenerative land use. This includes soil conservation, re-vegetation, organic farming, ecological forestry, irrigation and rain harvesting.
Through its work, INSO reinforces a sense of the fragility and sacredness of nature, viewing it as inseparable from society.
INUA is a grass-roots project based in the Favela União de Vila Nova, in the East Zone of São Paulo, Brazil. Its mission is to promote community development through art, culture, environmental education and generation of paid work.
The Viveiro Escola project acts as a testament to INUA’s aptitude for transformation: at the center of the favela, residents have turned an abandoned waste heap into a thriving agro-ecological forest cared for by local women farmers.
As well as many other activities, INUA also teaches art and culture courses to young people, while helping them develop leadership skills. The Bodega project is being developed to act as a community space for knowledge exchange, where the residents of the favela take centre stage as the protagonists of their own regeneration process.
INUA draws on the resources of the favela itself to fuel regeneration. This challenges the view that the favelas depend on outside help to develop. Instead, it demonstrates that they can act as a needed source of nutrients for regenerating what is unhealthy about the entire city.
Navdanya was founded 30 years ago by environmentalist Dr. Vandana Shiva to defend the seed and food sovereignty of small farmers.
It promotes a new agricultural and economic paradigm: a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice take precedence over today’s profit driven extractive food systems. The promotion of agroecology for economic security and the mitigation of climate change, together with seed and food sovereignty, are central to Navdanya’s vision of an Earth Democracy.
Up to now, Navdanya has helped set up 137 community seed banks in 22 states of India and Bhutan, trained over 1 million farmers in seed conservation, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture, and helped set up the largest fair trade organic network in the country.
Navdanya is born of a vision that all beings have intrinsic value and an inherent right to live, grow and evolve to their full potential through their self organisation. Navdanya thus views the conservation of biodiversity and protection of all life forms as a fundamental human duty, and our universal responsibility.
NGO Permaculture Ukraine was founded in October 2013. The mission of the organisation is to promote environmentally friendly agriculture, green energy and a healthy lifestyle, to protect natural and cultural heritage, and to support unprotected groups and the development of self-sufficient communities.
It does this by using the instruments of permaculture to solve actual environmental, economic and social problems. A key aspect of this is the establishment and support of small farms, stimulating the activity of local communities and regional development through strengthening connections.
NGO Permaculture Ukraine has run and organised a number of Permaculture Design Courses (PDC) and national permaculture convergences, as well as national and international conferences.
They have also translated key resources into Ukrainian to improve accessibility and understanding of permaculture practices in the Ukraine. Courses and resources are also offered free to internally displaced persons.
In 1985, the Ndem Villagers Association was set up as a dynamic community collective to try and improve living conditions for rural populations and halt the mass rural depopulation in the Sahelian region of Senegal.
Taking a holistic approach, the organisation utilises permaculture, agroecology and a strong sense of community co-operation. Its achievements so far include an agro-ecological garden and farm, an artisan centre, a health centre, and a ‘Yaakaar’ production unit (an alternative to coal).
It has also established the Biofarms Senegal project in partnership with SOL Alternatives Agroécologiques et Solidaires.
The project works across environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects of regeneration through: using agroecology and seed saving to improve biodiversity and soil health; changing how agricultural work is viewed; creating income-generating activities; and upgrading the historic Nguiguiss Bamba site.
Now an NGO, Association des Villageois de Ndem has become a key player in the social, economic and environmental regeneration in the region and has been able to reverse the dynamics of rural depopulation.
OTEPIC is a community-based organisation born out of passion for sharing knowledge and innovative approaches with those who need them most: subsistence farmers, and in particular, women and youth groups in the “Trans-Nzoia County” in Western Kenya and its surrounding areas.
OTEPIC aims to address the depletion of soil and water, climate change, the lack of sufficient food and the social injustice caused by years of intensive globalised agriculture. It does this through training communities in sustainable permaculture, including crop diversification, water harvesting, soil and composting, nutrition and renewable energy.
All training is free, and farmers are given the opportunity to experiment so they can gain a true understanding of how nature works. The project cultivates three gardens on an area of 11 hectares and also runs an orphanage, a birth house and a dance group.
OTEPIC operates with the principles of sustainable self nourishment, knowledge transfer and living in peace and harmony with nature.
Transition US was established in 2008 as the result of a collaboration between the UK-based Transition Network and the Post Carbon Institute in the US. Since then, its national network has grown to encompass more than 160 local initiatives, several regional hubs and five national working groups.
All of these (mostly volunteer-led) organisations are working hard every day to revitalize local food systems, strengthen local economies, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and unleash the collective genius to design and implement innovative solutions to some of the greatest challenges of the times.
Transition US provides support for these efforts by offering leadership trainings and webinars, facilitating networking and peer-to-peer learning, sharing replicable models, and developing key resources for grass-roots leaders.
The organisation follows the eight key principles that are common throughout the international Transition Movement. These include respect for resource limits, promotion of inclusivity and social justice, paying attention to balance and the fostering of creativity.