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BUILDING ON GENDER, AGROBIODIVERSITY AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
A TRAINING MANUAL

© FAO 2006
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CONTENTS


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FOREWORD

The present Training manual is based on experiences collected in numerous training workshops carried out under the FAO-LinKS project1 in Eastern and Southern Africa. This Training manual constitutes a conceptual guide for trainers that can be used to lead them through the issues of gender and local knowledge which are important elements for agrobiodiversity management and food security.

It is apparent, when working with this Training manual, that agrobiodiversity and food security are complex issues that need careful consideration. The myth that technologies taught to farmers will ease their poverty and hunger because the expertise or seeds provided are modern or new, persists in many contexts. This leads to positive results not materializing and rural farmers being faced with failed crops, or it is found that the technology applied is not appropriate to the particular situation.

There have been successes, this is true; however, a careful reading of the case studies contained in this manual, will prompt the readers to pause and reflect. in some cases, the fine balance between wild foods and cultivated local varieties offers better solutions for local contexts and the introduction of new technologies may disturb the equilibrium.

One result of participating in the training will be a growing awareness of the importance of gender and local knowledge for sustainable agrobiodiversity management. The issues of gender, local knowledge and agrobiodiversity and their linkages are clearly explained. The sustainable livelihoods approach is used as an overall framework to understand better these linkages. in addition, the manual gives an overview of the policies, processes and institutions at the global level that may affect farmers and agrobiodiversity in general.

The fact sheets contained in the manual provide a general understanding of the issues. Sharing experiences and applying the participants' knowledge and understanding will be even more important. The manual includes some exercises which encourage participants to bring in their own experiences, share their ideas, and apply them to their own work situation. The manual provides tools for researchers, extensionists and those involved in day-to-day project implementation to better guide the processes that lead towards sustainable agrobiodiversity management and improved food security. Furthermore the manual emphasizes the importance of involving the holders of local knowledge, both men and women in the decision-making process. most important, to quote from the manual, they will remember that “the entry point to agrobiodiversity management is people themselves”.

This participatory process takes time, but it leads to more effective and sustainable results.



Marcela Villarreal
Director

Gender and Population Division
Sustainable Development Department

1 The FAQ links project (gender, biodiversity and local knowledge systems for food security) works to improve rural people's food security and promote the sustainable management of agrobiodiversity by strengthening the capacity of institutions to use participatory approaches that recognize men and women farmer's knowledge in their programme and policies. The project is funded by the government of Norway. For further information visit the web site of the project: www.fao./sd/links, or send an e-mail to links-project@fao.org.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This Training manual is the product of an extensive collaboration with trainers, researchers and farmers.

The gender and Development Service would like to thank the following experts for contributing to the development of the present materials.

Sabine Guendel, Senior Scientist, for developing this Training manual; our colleagues from the technical Divisions within FAQ, for their support and inputs; all the authors, institutions and organizations who kindly authorise the use of their publications and articles. The FAO/Netherlands Partnership Programme (FNPP), who provided additional technical and financial support.

Special thanks go to the LinKS project teams in Tanzania, Mozambique and Swaziland for contributing their valuable expertise.


Hyperlinks to non-FAO Internet sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. The sole purpose of links to non-FAO sites is to indicate further information available on related topics.

This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software. FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.


CONTENTS

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

INTRODUCTION TO THE MANUAL

MODULE 1   Introduction of key concepts

1.1   WHAT IS AGROBIODIVERSITY?

Key Points for fact sheet 1.1

Process Sheet 1.1 - Notes for the trainer

1.2   WHAT IS LOCAL KNOWLEDGE?

Key Points for fact sheet 1.2

Process Sheet 1.2 - Notes for the trainer

1.3   WHAT IS GENDER?

Key Points for fact sheet 1.3

Process Sheet 1.3 - Notes for the trainer

1.4   WHAT IS FOOD SECURITY?

Key Points for fact sheet 1.4

Process Sheet 1.4 - Notes for the trainer

Key Readings

References

MODULE 2   Agrobiodiversity management from a sustainable livelihoods' perspective

2.1   WHAT IS A SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS APPROACH?

Key Points for fact sheet 2.1

Process Sheet 2.1 - Notes for the trainer

Exercise Sheet 2.1

2.2   WHAT ARE THE LINKAGES BETWEEN AGROBIODIVERSITY, LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND GENDER FROM a LIVELIHOODS PERSPECTIVE?

Key Points for fact sheet 2.2

Process Sheet 2.2 - Notes for the trainer

Exercise Sheet 2.2

Key Readings

References

MODULE 3   Agrobiodiversity management from a gender perspective

3.1   GENDER DYNAMICS AND AGROBIODIVERSITY

Key Points for fact sheet 3.1

Process Sheet 3.1 - Notes for the trainer

3.2   VALUES AND BENEFITS OF AGROBIODIVERSITY FROM a GENDER PERSPECTIVE

Key Points for fact sheet 3.2

Process Sheet 3.2 - Notes for the trainer

3.3   RECOGNIZING GENDER ASPECTS in AGROBIODIVERSITY INITIA

Key Points for fact sheet 3.3

Process Sheet 3.3 - Notes for the trainer

Key Readings

References

MODULE 4   Understanding the relationship between agrobiodiversity and local knowledge

4.1   LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AS PART OF AGROBIODIVERSITY

Key Points for fact sheet 4.1

Process Sheet 4.1 - Notes for the trainer

4.2   CHALLENGES FOR LOCAL KNOWLEDGE -UNDERSTANDING THE VULNERABILITY CONTEXT

Key Points for fact sheet 4.2

Process Sheet 4.2 - Notes for the trainer

4.3   SHAPING LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND AGROBIODIVERSITY-POLICIES, INSTITUTIONS AND PROCESSES

Key Points for fact sheet 4.3

Process Sheet 4.3 - Notes for the trainer

Key Readings

References

MODULE 5   Gender, biodiversity loss and conservation

5.1   CONTRASTING VIEWS ON GENDER, AGROBIODIVERSITY AND FOOD SECURITY

KEY READINGS

Key Readings 1

Sustaining Livelihoods through Animal Genetic Resources Conservation
Anderson, S. 2003

Neglected species, livelihoods and biodiversity in difficult areas:
how should the public sector respond?
Blench, R. 1997

Women - users, preservers and managers of agrobiodiversity
FAO. 1999

Livestock and Livelihoods
Ghotge, N. and Ramdas, S. 2003

Good ideas turned bad? A glossary of rights-related terminology
GRAIN. 2004

Key Readings 2

Traditional Knowledge and Patentability
IISD Trade and Development Breif. No. 7

Seeds of Life: Women and Agricultural Biodiversity in Africa
IK Notes No. 23 August 2000

Indigenous Knowledge and HIV/AIDS: Ghana and Zambia
IK Notes No. 30 March 2001

The Contribution of Indigenous Vegetables to Household Food Security
IK Notes No. 44 May 2002

Food security and biodiversity
IUCN/DFID. Biodiversity in Development- Biodiversity Brief 6

Community Seed Banks for Semi-arid Agriculture in Zimbabwe
Mujaju C., Zinhanga, F. & Rusike, E. 2003

Key Readings 3

The Central Role of Agricultural Biodiversity: Trends and Challenges
Thrupp, L. A. 2003

Gender in Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation
Torkelsson, Å. 2003

Losing Ground:
Gender Relations, Commercial Horticulture, and Threats to Local Plant Diversity in Rural Mali
Wooten, S. 2003