The Diversity of Knowledge: Reflections on the Agrobiodiversity@knowledged programme | Natural Environment

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Despite its importance for food security, smallholder livelihoods and the environment, agricultural biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate and with it the knowledge embedded in its management and use. With the Agrobiodiversity@Knowledged Programme, Hivos and Oxfam Novib wanted to contribute to solutions for this unfolding drama. This report is the result of a three-year knowledge programme run by Hivos and Oxfam Novib in collaboration with civil society organizations and academics working in the field of agricultural biodiversity around the world. It reveals stories of change
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  The diversity of knowledge Reflections on the Agrobiodiversity@knowledged programme  Colophon Hivos Raamweg 16, PO Box 855652508 CG The Hague, the Netherlandswww.hivos.org Oxfam Novib Mauritskade 9, PO Box 309192500 GX The Hague, the Netherlandswww.oxfamnovib.nl Agricultural Biodiversity Community c/o Dhan Foundation, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Indiadhanfoundation@dhan.orgwww.agriculturalbiodiversity.org ILEIA - Centre for learning on sustainable agriculture Secretariat of the AgriCultures NetworkPO Box 90, 6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlandswww.ileia.org ileia@ileia.org First published in December 2015 by the Hivos-Oxfam Novib Agrobiodiversity@knowledged Programme under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Works 3.0 License. To view a copy of this license, visit www.creativecommons.org/licences/by-sa/3.0/ Credits Interviews: Henkjan Laats en Edith van Walsum, ILEIA Editorial team: Henkjan Laats, Nick Pasciesznik, Edith van Walsum, Janneke Bruil and Danielle Peterson, ILEIA www.ileia.org Design: www.classdesign.nlCover Photo: Willy DoumaPrint: Lifoka  3  Reflections on the Agrobiodiversity@knowledged programme Content   Preface  1   Building a knowledge programme on agrobiodiversity   2   Twelve perspectives   From a loose network towards a self regulated and self financed community Dr Vasimalai - Dhan Foundation, India  Building a community, going on a journey Frank Heckman – Embassy of the Earth, the Netherlands  Scaling-up a local experience Elizabeth Katushabe – Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (PENHA), Uganda  Learning from practical experience Michael Commons - Earth Net and Green Net, Thailand  Agricultural biodiversity and markets Maryleen Micheni - Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUM), Kenya  Resilience and learning from the grassroots  Jamila Haider - Stockholm Resilience Center, Sweden  Cross-cultural aspects of learning Michael Farelly - Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM)  Scaling-up at a national, regional, continental and global level  Andrew Mushita - Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT), Zimbabwe  Amplifying the horizon Dang Cereno – SEARICE, The Philippines  Open source seeds and agroecology Dr Ramanjaneyulu - Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, India  Influencing policy Patrick Mulvany – UK Food Group, United Kingdom  Scaling up and out - Making knowledge and experience flow Willy Douma - Hivos, the Netherlands - and Gine Zwart - Oxfam Novib, the Netherlands 3   Reflection   4682781012 1315 1618 1921 222325  4  Preface Despite its importance for food security, smallholder livelihoods and the environment, agricultural biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate and with it the knowledge embedded in its management and use. With the Agrobiodiversity@Knowledged Programme, Hivos and Oxfam Novib wanted to contribute to solutions for this unfolding drama. This report is the result of a three years knowledge programme of Hivos, Oxfam Novib and civil society organisations and academics working in the field of agricultural biodiversity around the world. It reveals stories of change - changes within people and changes within the programmes of their organisations - related to agricultural biodiversity. For 10 years, before the programme, we ran the Hivos-Oxfam Novib Biodiversity Fund, supporting international civil society organisations working on agrobiodiversity in its broadest sense. It revealed lots of knowledge available within civil society on the benefits of agrobiodiversity based farming systems. So far most research has focused on improving productivity of a limited number of crops. The results of this approach are now surfacing. After years of public and private led intensification in agriculture, supported by huge amounts of financial and human resources, agrobiodiversity is quickly disappearing. However, a large percentage of the farmers in resource poor regions of the world continue to depend on the seeds and breeds in their own fields and surroundings, and do not receive much research or state support. They are the custodians of diversity. Instead of celebrating these farmers and recognising their work, they are depicted as backward and often pushed into a monoculture oriented farming system. While the Biodiversity Fund helped to create islands of success and understanding, it lacked the instruments to make initiatives of agrobiodiversity come to scale. The question arose what else was needed to break the glasshouse around agricultural biodiversity, as we started referring to it back in 2012. We started exploring the possibility of a ‘knowledge for change’ programme. In collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, we used a resilience theory approach to identify areas in which key civil society actors can act as bridges between Photo: Hivos / Oxfam Novib Participants of the ABC meeting at Thika, Kenya.
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