South Africa

Biowatch South Africa

Biowatch South Africa is a SKI founding partner and is the SKI lead partner. An environmental and social justice NGO, Biowatch challenges industrial agriculture and demonstrates ecologically sustainable alternatives to ensure biodiversity, food sovereignty and social justice. Biowatch works simultaneously at policy level and directly with projects on the ground involving small-holder farmers. Biowatch is supporting small-holder farmers in agroecological practice, and affirming and building on traditional agricultural knowledge through agroecological training, farmer exchanges and supporting seed rituals. Biowatch works in five project sites in northern KwaZulu-Natal: Ingwavuma, KwaNgwanase, Pongola, Mkhuze and Mtubatuba.

EarthLore Foundation

EarthLore Foundation is a SKI founding partner. EarthLore (formally Mupo Foundation) partners with local communities to secure land, seed, food and water sovereignty. By reviving indigenous knowledge and protecting sacred natural sites, communities can become more resilient to climate change and the industrial processes which threaten livelihoods and endogenous development. EarthLore works with communities in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, and in the Bikita district of Zimbabwe. Activities include strengthening traditional agricultural knowledge; reviving and enhancing seed diversity and related practices; and enabling the inter-generational transfer of knowledge, culture, biodiversity and livelihood strategies.

University of Cape Town’s  Bio-economy SARChI Chair

University of Cape Town’s  Bio-economy SARChI Chair (based in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science) is a SKI founding partner. The Chair, through Associate Professor Rachel Wynberg and a team of postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, brings research and collaborations linked to seed, knowledge and agroecology; policy expertise; and a track record of working on issues relating to traditional knowledge, intellectual property, biodiversity and social justice. Recent and current research focuses on the governance of natural resources and social justice; the resilience of local seed systems; links between seed and food security; implications of new genetic technologies for small-holder farmers; access, benefit sharing and farmers’ rights; wild foods; and the social-ecological relationships within different systems of maize agri/culture. Central foci of the Chair are to bridge the gap between theory and the real world of environmental, inequality and poverty challenges, and to bring critical perspectives with regard to the social and environmental dimensions of the bio-economy.

Ukuvuna

Ukuvuna is dedicated to the implementation of optimised sustainable projects within communities in southern Africa.  Ukuvuna aims for a fruitful process, a period of gathering yield or produce or harvest. Something positive that cares for the earth and the people (especially women and youth). The focus is on practical skills for diversifying livelihood activities towards creating replicable models of best practice for living sustainably. The process involves a mindset transformation, adaptability and resilience of individuals, families and society, whilst creating awareness on HIV/AIDS and gender differences.