EarthLore works with rural communities to accompany them on a journey to revive their traditional ecological knowledge and practices, seed diversity and farming and governance systems, essential for navigating climate change and defending their land against growing threats from mining and industrial exploitation.
At the heart of our work with communities in all the three areas in which we currently work – Mphumalanga and KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and Bikita in Zimbabwe – is to accompany communities in their journey of reviving their indigenous knowledge systems and practices. This encompasses revival of traditional seed diversity and farming systems and customary laws to protect their ancestral lands and their community ecological governance systems. It also involves recuperating the complimentary roles and leadership of women and men, and restoring intergenerational learning. This process enables communities to have the space to reflect and analyse their situation for themselves, recognise that they have a wealth of knowledge to draw on and identify what they feel are priorities and what assistance they might need. Thus they begin to take back control of their lives and their ‘development’ or ‘life path’.