Project Type: Networks

Transition US

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.

Photo: Transition US

NGO Permaculture Ukraine

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.

Photo: NGO Permaculture Ukraine

Guba

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.

Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)

ZIMSOFF was established in 2002 as the voice of the peasants struggling for social justice in Zimbabwe. ZIMSOFF is farmer-owned and farmer-led and envisions improved livelihoods of organized and empowered smallholder farmers practising sustainable and viable ecological agriculture.

It seeks to reduce dependence on low and increasingly erratic rainfall and to conserve the remaining soil. In order to maintain participation, ZIMSOFF organises field days, seed and food fairs, organic food festivals, and exchange visits.

It is using farmer-to-farmer training to hone and spread proven techniques, including water harvesting, degraded wetland rehabilitation and organic agriculture, in a most drought-afflicted region.

It is developing living examples on managing living soils, seed and water in order to provide evidence for its advocacy work. Walking the talk on regeneration ideas means setting up convincing actions that make sense.

It is campaigning to influence policies and public awareness towards agroecology and smallholder farmers’ rights on access to healthy soils, clean water and seed.

Survival International

Much of Survival Internation’s work is concentrated around pressuring governments, multinational corporations and other organisations to respect or uphold tribal rights, and most importantly, land rights. It also funds self-help and indigenous-led projects and challenge racist or prejudicial stereotypes of tribal peoples in the media.

It has achieved hundreds of successes over the years. In 1992, after 20 years of campaigning, Survival secured the demarcation of the Yanomami tribe’s land in Brazil, which together with Yanomami land in Venezuela, is the largest area of rainforest under indigenous control to this day. In 2006, its fight against mining and ‘development’ projects without Bushmen consent resulted in the first court victory where ‘native title’ was recognised in Africa.

Tribal peoples have vast botanical and zoological knowledge and a unique understanding of sustainable living. Eighty percent of the planet’s biodiversity is found in indigenous territories, which is no coincidence. Many areas regarded by outsiders as “wilderness” have actually been carefully managed and shaped by people for thousands of years.

Secure land rights are key to the resilience, mental and physical health, and livelihoods of many tribes around the world. In advocating for the land rights of tribal peoples, Survival supports their regenerative practices.

Photo: Survival International

GRAIN

GRAIN fights for a better global food system, based on biodiversity, agro-ecology and short circuits, and under control of local communities: a food system good for people and for the planet. It fights against the corporate-controlled industrial food systems, which destroy the environment and local communities.

GRAIN began in the early 1990s, challenging the dramatic loss of seed diversity on farms. That work soon expanded into a larger programme including struggles for land, seeds, agroecology and climate in active collaboration with others.

GRAIN now works in support of small farmers and social movements for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. This takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and international levels, and fostering new forms of cooperation and alliance-building.

Most of its work is oriented towards, and carried out in, Africa, Asia and Latin America, and it works directly with grass-roots partners in those regions.

It has played a role in creating better understanding of issues such as land-grabbing, control over seed and the role of industrial food in the climate crisis.

Photo: GRAIN

FEASTA: the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

FEASTA is a think-tank with a mission to identify the characteristics (economic, cultural and environmental) of a truly sustainable society, articulate how the necessary transition can be effected, and promote the implementation of the measures required for this purpose.

It takes a systems-oriented approach, believing that we can cope with complexity through self-organisation and popular participation.

Some of the ideas that FEASTA has been promoting since it was established in 1998 are becoming increasingly mainsteam. In particular, the need to get beyond GDP as a measure of progress and the proposal that the atmosphere should be managed as a commons are increasingly recognised.

The name ‘Feasta’, meaning ‘henceforth’ in Irish, is closely associated with an 18th-century poem that expresses profound grief over the deforestation, biodiversity loss and mistreatment of the vulnerable that marked the colonialist period. The poem ends with a strongly-expressed desire for restoration and preservation, including the regeneration of community bonds.

Photo: FEASTA: the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

ECOLISE

ECOLISE was established in 2014 to facilitate closer collaboration between community-led initiatives for action on climate change and sustainability. By focusing on citizen engagement in community-led action, the network aims to support the transition to a regenerative society and economy.

ECOLISE facilitates a collaborative platform for knowledge sharing and developing awareness of existing initiatives. It also advocates for policy development that will nurture, not hinder, grassroots, community-led action.

ECOLISE currently has 43 member organisations based in 18 countries. Members include international networks of community-led initiatives, such as the Transition Network, the Global Ecovillage Network and the Permaculture movement, as well as other local and regional networks such as ICLEI.

Flagship projects include: the European Day of Sustainable Communities; the Knowledge Commons, which encompasses the ECOLISE wiki; and the Sustainable Communities Programme, which works to create an enabling environment for community-led action. Through these activities, ECOLISE aims to support systemic change.

Yes to Life, No to Mining

The Yes to Life, No to Mining (YLNM) network was founded in November 2014 by a collection of community-based organisations and NGOs from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

It was launched as a call to action, making visible the growing number of communities wanting to say NO to mining and resist an inherently unsustainable industry predicated on ecological and social harm. As a network, it exists to support its members in resisting unwanted mining and develop and protect life-sustaining alternatives.

After its launch as a web platform, the YLNM network grew organically, with an increasing number of communities, organisations and other networks joining from every inhabited continent.

These members began organising to support and amplify each others’ campaigns online, source funding for members, and provide reactive solidarity support in emergencies, for example in the case of Mongolian Earth Defender Beejin Khastumur.

YLNM coordinates work around three key areas:

  1. Providing information to front-line communities, as in the case of the ‘Water is Life’ toolkit;
  2. Convening front-line community learning exchanges focused on successful strategies in Colombia, Finland, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar etc.;
  3. Leading a discussion within the movement on ‘post-extractivism’ and how we go beyond mining.
Photo: Yes to Life, No to Mining

Uryadi’s Village

Uryadi’s Village (UV) was established in 2014 in response to a request from the local leadership in Soddo, Ethiopia, to help them address the growing number of orphaned and abandoned children in their area.

It became clear that the degradation of Ethiopia’s land was linked to widespread food access issues, and that this was linked with the high orphan population. (Newborns were abandoned because their parents could not feed them.)

UV agreed to co-develop a sustainable approach to this challenge. A community based on Permaculture principles has been created, guided by the vision of a beautiful, productive home for orphaned and abandoned children, which also strengthens the community and is a source of innovative progress and abundance.

UV cares for 97 orphaned children and supports the education of another 95 in the local community who have families but would not stay in school without some financial help. 

It is working with the local government to scale up a local adoption program and is one of the only orphanages around to accept special-needs children. It is also developing support systems and tools for parents of children with special needs to avoid abandonment in the first place.

Photo: Uryadi’s Village