About Us

Vision of a viable future

EarthLore envisages a future in which humans are living in a respectful, just and reciprocal relationship with each other and the Earth. A world in which human communities are rooted once again in their ancestral traditions, identities and lands and are able to hold power to account. Sacred Natural Sites, are protected and recognised as No Go Areas for any industrial activity, as places similar to a church or temple for others. This recognition is enshrined in current local, national and Pan-African legislation, as eminating from a different source of law, the laws of the Earth.  Human communities are able to live dignified lives, enjoy food and seed sovereignty and control their own endogenous development.

Communities cohere around rejuvenated bonds and kinship linked to their own knowledge systems and traditions that are respectful to the larger community of life – diverse species and landscapes. The regeneration of cultural and biological diversity is by now widely experienced across Southern Africa as leading to greater resilience. Diversity base livelihoods and food systems that cool the planet have reduced the impact of climate change. Mining is no longer necessary because what has been extracted is responsibily used, and waste dumps are cheaper to mine for minerals and metals. Fossil fuels have been replaced by renewable energy systems that are locally controlled and carefully designed to minimize use of materials. Industrial agriculture and plantations have been replaced because they could not survive the worst of climate change and are now transformed into diversity based small scale agro-ecologal farming systems, sustaining many communities. Regenerated  landscapes hold healthy forests and flowing rivers, are a passionately protected by local communities. Humans have revived a deep sense of responsibility towards future generations as well as their past ancestry and towards other species, and experience themselves once again, as part of the larger Community of Life.

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Ngubevu, Msinga district, KZN, South Africa. Photo by Sheila Berry

The Path towards this Vision

Steps along the way to achieving this vision are seen in communities reconnecting with indigenous knowledge systems and traditions, restoring a sense of pride and identity rooted in more viable and secure livelihoods.

These pockets of regenerative  communities become a source of inspiration for others, connecting into movements for transformation. Mobilisation both within and across communities increasingly occurs through establishing seedbanks, seed exchanges, horizontal learning and strengthening food sovereignty movements that cut across regional and international contexts. The invoked memories of connection to local environments have restored respect, and rejuvenated traditional systems of ecological governance. Communities are more galvanised to read and analyse the political dynamic as an awakened civil society, and mobilise themselves to hold government accountable, as they assert and excersise  their rights and responsibilities to protect their sacred lands for generations to come.

EarthLore, previously Mupo Foundation,  is an effective organisation  with a respected practice in the field. It consists of a strong and passionate team including a director, programme coordinator, community mobilisers and agro-ecology (AE) trainers and is led by a dedicated Board which reflects the diversity of the region.

Purpose

EarthLore partners with local communities to secure land, seed, food and water sovereignty. By reviving indigenous knowledge and protecting sacred natural sites (SNS) local self-governance is strengthened. Along with focussed support and capacity building, this enables communities to become more resilient to climate change and the industrial processes which threaten livelihoods and endogenous development.

Core values

Respect that indicates respectfulness to the communities, their indigenous knowledge and traditions and the sacred land and its species,  of which they form a part.

Integrity of all living things that includes nature and the communities they sustain.

Emergence that underlies EarthLore’s practice of creating enabling spaces for building relationship and dialogues that allow for reconnection to inner strength, knowledge and passion that fuel transformation.

Strategy and practice

Photo by Rob Symons

Photo by Rob Symons

The work of Earthlore is for enabling greater community cohesion (strengthening relationships, building the status of women, reclaiming autonomy over community’s own lives); and strengthening community ecological governance (building seed and food sovereignty, protecting bio- and cultural diversity as well as building local economies). These goals are accomplished through accompanying communities in dialogue processes (surfacing and reconnecting with indigenous knowledge systems and agency); capacity building through training in agro-ecological farming methods, and support for ecological governance; and advocacy, for taking up issues against practices that harm the ecosystem and pose a threat to local traditions and livelihoods.

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