Planet Local examples
South Africa, Earthlore (Mupo Foundation) and Dzomo la Mupo:
In the Venda language, Mupo describes all the natural creations of the universe. This includes soil, seeds, plants, all animals and human beings, the sound of the wind and running water, the feeling of the air, the light of the stars. In other words, says Mphatheleni Makaulule, a founder of Mupo Foundation, “Mupo is life,” and the people cannot be healthy if Mupo is not healthy.
The Indigenous Venda people live mostly in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo province, in the far north of South Africa. In terms of cash income the region is poor, with high rates of unemployment; at the same time, it is a lush place of waterfalls, mountains, clear rivers, diverse forests full of edible and medicinal plants, and many sites sacred to the Venda.
But Vhembe District has also been targeted for plantation expansion, coal mining, and tourist industry development. Read more
Fiji, Sisi Initiative Site Support Group:
The Natewa Tunuloa Important Bird Area, located on Fiji’s Natewa Peninsula, contains large tracts of native forest and a diverse array of bird species. In response to illegal logging and the encroachment of plantation-style agriculture and invasive species, community volunteers worked with local stakeholders to establish a 1,500 acre community-protected forest around the Bird Area.
The Sisi Initiative (named after a type of threatened silktail bird found only on the peninsula and one neighboring island) has grown into something much broader: it provides training for the local community in sustainable farming, beekeeping, baking, basketweaving, screen printing, jewelry-making and other handicrafts.
Zimbabwe, The Chikukwa Project:
In just two decades, the Chikukwa permaculture initiative has transformed six villages in Eastern Zimbabwe, from a state of chronic food insecurity and severe environmental degradation, to one of food sufficiency, community self-reliance, and ecological regeneration. When the Chikukwa Project was initiated in 1991, village water wells were filled with silt, the creeks had run dry, farmland was heavily eroded, and the surrounding vegetation had all but disappeared from overgrazing and deforestation.
As a result, farm productivity was low, and hunger and malnutrition were prevalent. Given this dire situation, it’s hard to believe that present day Chikukwa villages are once again verdant and fertile places, a far cry from the barren landscape of 20 years ago. Read more
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