Connecting seeds with Culture and Nature in Africa

A project by African Biodiversity Network (ABN)

We are a network of individuals & organisations empowering indigenous & local communities to revive their bio-cultural diversity, seed & food sovereignty.
The African Biodiversity Network (ABN) aims to restore communities’ connectedness to their Culture and to Nature. We have been working with partners and communities in 12 countries across Africa for the last 15 years to revive traditional/indigenous farming systems under threat from industrial agricultural practices. These practices have been shown to be disastrous for the environment whilst indigenous farming systems embody environmentally friendly and sustainable agroecological practices. Our emphasis is on community ecological governance that ensures that people control the output from their work – thus giving them food sovereignty.

Globalization continues to push and spread a very liberal economic development approach to the use of land and natural resources. This approach commodifies almost everything and is relentless in its pursuit of economic growth. Africa is now feeling the full force of this orientation as the world’s attention shifts to the continent. This provides an urgency for our work. Our approach and methodologies help to bring connection to the land and natural resources which is necessary for facilitating healthy ecosystems for resilience. Without this depth of concern and connection, the tendency would be to continue to treat symptoms in isolation.

We support partners to consolidate, integrate and further evolve innovative strategies of working with communities on Sacred Natural Sites & Territories and governance systems. Our partners thus hold community dialogues with custodians of the indigenous knowledge and provide a platform for communities to draw and use eco-maps and calendars for advocacy work. ABN promotes a holistic ecosystems protection strategy addressing loss of biodiversity, soil and water in order to revive traditional seed, enhance crop and livestock genetic diversity for productivity and build resilience to climate change.

About the Organization /Team

Operating with a lean Secretariat in Kenya, the African Biodiversity Network (ABN) works through its partners in 12 African countries (Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe) to raise awareness around food security, biodiversity protection and climate change, with a focus on reviving indigenous knowledge and practices. We link our seed work to our work on land rights and the protection of sites of ecological, spiritual and cultural sites importance (Sacred Natural Sites). We also highlight the importance of access to land as the revival of seed is not useful without access to land.
Project CategoryConnector
Realated SDGs
2 Zero Hunger 3 Good Health & Well-Being 5 Gender Equality 6 Clean Water & Sanitation 7 Affordable & Clean Energy 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities 12 Responsible Consumption & Production 13 Climate Action 14 Life Below Water 15 Life on Land