Project Summary

The purpose of this two year project is to assess the potential for scaling-up different kinds of grass-roots level support for on-farm conservation of agricultural biodiversity in Eastern and Southern Africa. This includes support for any aspect of biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems.

The aim is to provide information for grass-roots development workers, national policy makers and the international biodiversity community on what kinds of support are most effective and what are the pre-conditions for their success. This includes field-tested participatory methods for investigating on-farm biodiversity conservation, best practice advice on approaches, and policy recommendations. These contribute to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity programme of work elements 2.2 and 2.3 (analysis of case studies) and Element 3 (capacity-building); elements to develop legal and economic incentive measures; and many elements of the programme of work for article 8(j); as well as the programme of work on education and public awareness.

The focus is on looking at the institutional conditions for success. “Success” is assessed using indicators that include biological as well as economic and institutional parameters.

The project evolved from long-standing collaborative relationships between a number of organizations working on issues related to on-farm conservation in the region and internationally, and was implemented by an international consortium of individuals and agencies including experts in biodiversity and participatory approaches from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and the UK.

Project activities included team-building, training, and a collaborative process to develop methodologies; field research of case-study projects using participatory approaches; collaborative data analysis and synthesis of recommendations; multimedia information products, and a series of final end-of-project seminars for international and regional practitioners and policy makers.

The project was completed in 2004.