Events at the Secretariat during the quarter
Strengthening the capacity of the Southern Sub-Regional Node
The ABN Secretariat, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Sulemana Abdulai and Mr. Ayele Kibede of SIDA (the newest development partner of ABN) converged in PORET Agroecology Learning Centre in Chimanimani, eastern province of Zimbabwe from 6-8 December 2022. Hosted by ABN partner, EarthLore, they were joined by partners in the Southern Sub-Regional Node from South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, as well as community members engaged in capacity-building on Multiple Evidence Based (MEB), approaches of ABN.
Through the MEB approach, science learns from indigenous knowledge leading co-creation of knowledge to find solutions responsive to issues affecting the communities. This approach contributes to strengthening communities’ resilience to various pressures associated with climate crises.
Participants were also taken through the elements of effective communication and advocacy strategy to increase the visibility and publicity of their activities and create a critical mass to champion the formulation, review, and operationalization of policies aligned with their work.
The ABNers spent quality time learning from the community groups in Mamutse village where EarthLore works. Dr. Sulemana and ABN’s General Coordinator Dr. Fassil Gebeyehu were joined by Fiona Wilton of The Gaia Foundation, who joined virtually, who discussed implementing the African Commission’s Resolution 372. The event received much visibility, especially through the ABN digital platforms.
Participation at COP27, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Nature Conservation Egypt visit and meeting with some of ABN’s development partners
ABN Secretariat and partners in the network (AFRICE, AFSA, GDA, JVE, GRABE-Benin, Muyissi, PELUM Kenya and NCE) were among the participants from over a hundred countries that were at COP27 to discuss approaches to reducing the global temperatures by 1.5°C. Read more about the insights on COP27 in one of the articles titled: Over 100 countries attended COP27 to discuss curbing global temperatures by 1.5°C
During the COP27 event, Venter and Dr. Fassil met with Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE). It was a great opportunity for both collaborators to meet face-to-face, and they committed to deepen and scale up their work in the north due to this partnership. NCE is among ABN’s five newest partners collaborating in the Conserving Biocultural Diversity project.
During the COP27 event, ABN held various meetings with development partners such as Bread for the World (BftW) and SwedBio. It was a chance to catch up on the current and future projects besides sharing reflections on approaches to mitigating the impacts of climate crises on the African continent.
Capacity-building on policy development and Walking Workshop with Dessie Community
ABN continues with its commitment to building the capacity of the communities to resist harmful practices to their land and culture. During the quarter, Dr. Fassil and Venter accompanied the Dessie community working with ISD in Ethiopia, MELCA, relevant government officials, and academia to build their capacity to develop the policy briefs. The Dessie community also participated in the Walking Workshop, an ABN approach where the communities draw ecological maps and calendars to reflect on their past, evaluate their present, and predict their future with a clear plan of how to achieve it. ISD and MELCA are ABN partners in Ethiopia.
ABN’s staff appointments
During the quarter, Venter Mwongera received two appointments. These are the African Women Leaders in Agroecology (AWOLA) Initiative as one of the mentors and as the Chairperson of the National and International Engagements under the Inter-Sectoral Forum on Agrobiodiversity and Agroecology (ISFAA).
AWOLA-I and ISFAA further the agenda of agroecology and agrobiodiversity philosophies continentally and globally. Venter hopes to continue supporting the CoP and to promote the ABN philosophy in such fora.