The latest instalment of the African Biodiversity Network’s (ABN) excellent newsletter series celebrates and explores almost 20 years of ABN’s work to pioneer African solutions to the continent’s socio-economic and ecological problems. With contributions from a number of network members on the living system that is ABN, the newsletter also includes a moving reflection on what it means to be a martyr of seed and community knowledge by ABNer Simon Mitambo.
Gaia was a founding member of ABN when the network was initiated in 1996 in response to growing concern in the region over threats to biodiversity in Africa. Dedicated to nurturing a growing African network of individuals and organisations working passionately from global to local level to resist harmful ‘development’ and for the recognition and realisation of the rights of nature and people, ABN has gone from strength to strength since then.
The network is now home to 36 partners drawn from 12 African countries: Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Alongside communities and international alies like Gaia, ABN is working tirelessly on issues from landgrabbing to GMOs in a spirit of collaboration, recognising that our unity is our strength.
In a recent show of solidarity, the African Biodiversity was one of a number of African Civil Society organisations that came together and committed to saying Yes to Life, No to Mining! Others included the world’s largest network of peasant organisations La Via Campesina, the Pan-African Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and a host of food and agricultural organisations that are increasingly recognising the threat mining poses to traditional and sustainable agricultural livelihoods.