Three African women, Jennifer Amejja, Edna Kaptoyo and Rita Uwaka, speak about the importance of women’s cultural, traditional knowledge and practice for food sovereignty, agroecology and community forest management. How they grow nutritious food, use and protect medicinal plants, select and exchange seed, establish vital community seed banks, provide livelihoods and support the local economy. Also how they protect forests, many of which are sacred, and ensure replenishment and restoration of watersheds.
Indigenous women are especially threatened by climate change and biodiversity destruction, yet their intimate knowledge makes them uniquely placed to protect and restore critical ecosystems; strengthen traditional food systems; conserve species; and transmit indigenous knowledge to future generations.
However, industrial plantation agriculture, often supported by governments and finance institutions in developed countries, is fuelling landgrabs, destroying local food systems, and accelerating climate change, biodiversity loss and human rights abuses, especially for women. How should we collectively address this critical issue?
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