Lakes and forests are our ancestral heritage, let’s protect them for our future generations
The second edition of Terra Madre Grands Lacs, an international event organized by the local Slow Food network in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is about to start. From December 12 to 14 more than 150 delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Congo as well as 50 young indigenous women from the region will attend the event in Goma. This year, three main themes will be developed: the management of the region’s lake fisheries, agroecology based on the knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples, and the active involvement of youth in the future of agriculture.
The traditional knowledge of local communities and indigenous peoples in the area will be analyzed and taken as a case study for the development of shared strategies for the conservation and preservation of local ecosystems. The region is rich in natural resources but its biodiversity has been threatened by conflicts that still affect some parts of the region. Hence the importance of an event to debate how peace and security can help maintain food biodiversity in the region. Regional mechanisms for the sustainable management of lake and forest resources must also be established in order to consolidate peace and ensure the harmonious co-existence of the different communities. Slow Food Tanganyika works together with 22 fishing cooperatives grouped within the Lake Tanganyika Fishermen’s Organisation to defend the lake’s biodiversity, protect endangered species and ensure fishermen’s access to resources.
Besides workshops and conferences on resource management, Slow Food projects in the region and food rights, the event will also host a local market where the public can discover and taste traditional products, getting to know fishermen, farmers and chefs. During the event the national Slow Food network will meet to discuss the future of the movement in the region and its upcoming projects.
The ongoing IFAD and Slow Food collaboration aims to empower indigenous communities and youth and improve the livelihoods of beneficiaries by protecting and promoting their food heritage and upholding the sustainability and resilience of their practices. This will be done by increasing the economic value of their food heritage products, and by strengthening the global Indigenous Terra Madre network, increasing the number of members who contribute to policy decisions. The project aims to collect and broadly disseminate knowledge and evidence-based learning on how these two goals can be achieved.
The Lighthouse Foundation supports integrated and long-term approaches to the relationship between humans and the marine environment within the context of sustainable development. Earth’s oceans are what give our planet its identity: the blue planet, the watery globe. Slow Food and the Lighthouse Foundation are launching joint initiatives that promote artisanal fishing and neglected fish species and inspire reflection on the state and management of the sea’s resources.
By spreading agroecological practices and strengthening farmers’ knowledge about agroecological farming, the project “Building Local Economies in East Africa Through Agroecology” funded by the AgroEcology Fund aims to boost local economies and improve the livelihoods of communities in Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. This will be done by enhancing market opportunities based on direct contact between producers and consumers, which generates higher incomes, more employment and well-being (as a deep multiplier effect), and contributes to a new narrative on agroecology. This narrative is essential for a wider cultural shift towards considering agroecology “the agriculture of the future” and in order to advocate for long-lasting change.
For further information please contact:
Slow Food International Press Office – [email protected]
Terra Madre Grands Lacs
Jean-Pierre Kapalay, [email protected]
Nicolas Mushumbi, [email protected]
Slow Food is a global network of local communities founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and counteract the rise of fast food culture. Since its founding, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure that everyone has access to good, clean and fair food. Slow Food is the umbrella organization responsible for guiding the entire movement.