Gaia works closely with Earth’s custodians – local, indigenous and traditional communities from around the world. Using participatory approaches such as community dialogues, learning exchanges and eco-cultural mapping, and working closely with partners, we facilitate processes that enable communities to strengthen and revive their knowledge, practices and governance systems, re-weaving the web of bio-cultural connections between youth and elders, women and men, people and place.
This approach enables communities to re-build their confidence after centuries of colonialism, oppression and ecological destruction, to secure land, food and water sovereignty and define their own path into the future. In our experience, communities who are rooted in their traditions and their land, have the answers to the problems they face. Our work together lays the foundations for communities to take practical steps to build their resilience in the face of challenges like climate change, pursue truly regenerative livelihoods and reject harmful industrial projects, like mining and other forms of landgrabbing.
In a decisive ‘popular consultation’ on the future of mining company Anglo Gold Ashanti’s planned La Colosa mine, 98% of voters rejected the mine in favour of clean water, air, agriculture and healthy ecosystems. Located in a key food-producing region in the Andes Mountains, agriculture is Cajamarca’s source of wealth. Here the communities have armed themselves with the facts, exposing the true impact of mining on farming for generations to come. Read more
Among those in Brazil, the Ashaninka of the Amônia River is the largest, with approximately 800 people. After a long fight against illegal logging on their land, the Ashaninka of the Amônia River, estabished their own organization called APIWTXA. Their particular concern is for cultural revitalization and environmental protection, not only of their territory, but the whole basin of the Upper Juruá and Brazil-Peru border region – one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Read more
Much of our work on seed and food is known as the Community, Seed and Knowledge Programme, a methodology developed by Gaia with local and indigenous communities and partners over the last three decades. This is underpinned by the understanding that the revival of indigenous, locally-adapted seed and traditional knowledge is critical for securing diverse food crops in a climatically unstable world. Read more
The high alpine Bale Mountains, in Oromia Regional State, southeast Ethiopia, is one example where long-term work with local communities, traditional elders and government authorities is now resulting in the recognition and protection of a growing number of Sacred Natural Sites. Building trust and confidence among local communities, through community dialogues and eco-cultural mapping, is the bedrock for this work, which has since spread to partner communities in Benin. Read more
We live in a time of multiple, complex crises. There are no easy answers. Working to uphold the health and diversity of our living planet is always rewarding, but we think you’ll agree it can sometimes feel like swimming against the stream. And yet like salmon we leap, and more often than you might expect, we make it. We invite you to make the next leap with us by making a donation of any size. Thank you for your solidarity.