The second Indigenous Terra Madre was held in Shillong (Meghalaya, India) from November 3 to 7. The event was attended by international delegates from 14 African countries, 17 Asian countries, 8 European countries, 12 American countries and 7 countries from Oceania. This was an event of vital importance, thanks also to the fruitful collaboration that was launched with IFAD in support of Terra Madre’s indigenous communities.
Indigenous peoples hold unique knowledge about sustainable, community-level and culture-based food and agricultural activities. They are also constantly adapting to new opportunities and threats. Today, much of the world’s remaining bio cultural diversity is concentrated on their lands. Regretfully however, their ecological practices (such as swidden agriculture, pastoralism and the selection of socially relevant local crops and livestock breeds) are not understood by many mainstream development workers and researchers and are often undervalued, even threatened, by some national governments. A transition to more sustainable, inclusive and ecological approaches that can meet everyone’s livelihood and food security needs requires bringing these marginalized guardians to center stage.
Slow Food Uganda wants to give a voice to indigenous communities and showcase the different ways they use agro ecological practices for the pleasure, well-being and food security of all. Slow Food Uganda provides an opportunity for indigenous communities in Uganda to form an indigenous network within the International Slow Food and Terra Madre network. This network will help to reaffirm the identity they derive from their local food practices, which, when carried out responsibly and respectfully, protect the local environment, defend their lands and territories and enable adaptation to climate change.
The hope is that this evolving indigenous network will help Slow Food to identify leverage points for guiding agricultural research, policy and advocacy institutions, as well as lead to the recognition of indigenous peoples as important knowledge holders and allies in efforts to make current agriculture and food systems more sustainable, just, equitable and inclusive. We have started working with the Batwa and Konzo and in November 2015, Slow Food Uganda supported three indigenous people to participate as delegates in the 2015 Indigenous Terra Madre in Shilong, India.