The SKI Agroecology Landscape initiative is a multi-country collaboration of southern African organisations. It emerged from the efforts of SKI’s Community of Practice (COP)1. In 2019, seven members of the COP decided to pilot a landscape regeneration approach which is underpinned by agroecology principles to drive action that can redress the interlinked and urgent crises of ecosystem degradation, climate change, social cohesion erosion and food system collapse in the region.
The initiative aims to build capability, solidarity and leadership within and beyond the initiative members. It is pioneering a different, more holistic and deeper process that encompasses all aspects of the landscape – the local culture, the leadership, the river systems, forests, soils, areas with wild biodiversity, the grasslands, the system of livestock management, the watershed and, very importantly, the governance systems that either damage or support the ecosystem.
1 The SKI Community of Practice was set up in 2015 with the purpose of learning and reflecting about community seed systems and agroecology through interacting, exchanging, sharing from experience and innovating together. This group includes practitioners from within SKI partners and like-minded organisations and experts who are eager to work together towards the amplification of farmer-led seed systems (FLSS) and agroecology (AE) in the region.
Seven organisations from four countries, who participate in the SKI Community of Practice, have teamed up to form the SKI AE Landscape collaborative. They are committed to working together, learning from each other and holding each other accountable. They in turn partner with local communities, stakeholders and other organisations that can help strengthen the work in the eight pilot sites.
The aim of this work is to create and communicate good working examples of how to regenerate functional healthy landscapes in the region from which others can learn.
These SKI AEL collaborative partners and the pilot projects they coordinate are:
KATC, a renowned sustainable organic farming training and outreach centre based outside Lusaka. Coordinates the regeneration of water catchments in the Kapete area of Chongwe district;
ReSCOPE, works with schools and youth to introduce permaculture and food forests in rural communities throughout the region. Coordinates the piloting of integrated regenerative practices in the Chona landscape in Monze district in Southern Zambia;
TSURO, supports smallholder farmers in the Chimanimani Mountains of Eastern Zimbabwe on seed, agriculture, holistic livestock management and water catchment regeneration (especially after the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in 2019). Coordinates the implementation of the sustainable management of land and water resources in the Saurombe landscape;
UKUVUNA, specializes in permaculture training across the region. Coordinates an intervention that focuses on reforestation and water management in the middle Rusape River catchment in Makoni District in Zimbabwe;
ZIMSOFF, a national smallholder farmers’ organisation, with extensive movement building experience in Zimbabwe. Coordinates a pilot project that amplifies traditional knowledge in the protection of biodiversity within the Nyamandi landscape in Gutu district;
EARTHLORE, foundation, works in South Africa and Zimbabwe using a distinctive approach of first reviving culture and traditional knowledge systems through dialogues that result in communities in Bikita (Zimbabwe) and Steenbok (South Africa) taking action to restore their sacred sites and river systems;
DeTAS, works in Northern Malawi with a focus on mentoring youth and community development. Coordinates the restoration of the Kakomo landscape in the Misuku Mountains in collaboration with SKI partner SCOPE Malawi.