Securing the genetic resource base of Indigenous plants species: A Community Biodiversity Conservation Initiative

Seed bank of Sheda Community
Published: 21 July 2021
Last edited: 21 July 2021
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Summary

We have assisted communities develop home gardens for important wild plants species. Our cost effective seed/gene saving initiative have helped communities conserved, restored, revitalized local crop species and varieties critical for the community's survival.

Classifications

Region
West and Central Africa
Scale of implementation
Local
National
Subnational
Ecosystem
Agro-ecosystem
Agroforestry
Forest ecosystems
Tropical evergreen forest
Theme
Adaptation
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Food security
Gender mainstreaming
Genetic diversity
Health and human wellbeing
Indigenous people
Land management
Science and research
Species management
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Challenges
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of food security
Unemployment / poverty
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Other targets
Awareness increased
Biodiversity values integrated
Habitat loss reduced
Business engagement approach
Indirect through consumers
(I)NDC Submission
biodiversity loss

Location

Nigeria

Challenges

Biodiversity is critical for food security and nutrition. Sadly, human impacts are accelerating loss. Indigenous plants hold the potentials to scale up Food Security/ Nutrition and biodiversity conservation due their potential contribution in preventing malnutrition, obesity and diet-related disorders. Sadly most of them are localized and may even go extinct before they are even discovered, disappearing with them their enormous Indigenous knowledge.

Beneficiaries

We have developed home gardens for important wild plants species. Our cost effective seed/gene saving initiative have helped communities conserved, restored, revitalized local crop species and varieties critical for the community's survival.

How do the building blocks interact?

Our approach connect in a unique way as we were able to connect communities to Indigenous plants conservation. In promoting conservation of indigenous plants, we have offered opportunities for responsible forest management and business development at community level. Thus, armed with these tools, community members could achieve industry specifications/requirements as well as access new markets. In all, we have created a local base healthy ecosystems which greatly facilitated economic growth not only within the Forest Community but beyond the community through trade of products. With decent packaging techniques, locals have seen sales even on the shelves of super malls in urban areas. This has ensured that local biodiversity products are marketable.

Impacts

Biodiversity is critical for food security and nutrition. Indigenous plants hold the potentials to scale up food security/nutrition and biodiversity conservation due their potential contribution in preventing malnutrition, obesity and diet-related disorders. Sadly, most of them are localized and may even go extinct before they are even discovered, disappearing with them their enormous Indigenous knowledge. we are building community resilience taking into account indigenous knowledge which has over time played an important role in shaping their existence. In doing this, communities have coped with the threats to food/nutrition security and biodiversity loss reducing venerability. In maximizing the potential of Indigenous Food Species, we have built community confidence and perception on socio-economic factors in their environment influenced their attitude/behavior. We have shown a link between Good Nutrition which these indigenous plants bring and health of the Environment and Forests around these communities. Irrespective of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our food systems, seed saved in the Community Seed Bank was able guarantee continuity in the supply and distribution of seeds which represented major boater to creating resilient local food-systems at the community.

Story

As a little boy, I have always been amazed of how Charles Darwin came about his theories. I have realized that his theories were not based on high academic knowledge but the simple fact of his “LOVE for NATURE” complimented by his “NATURAL INSTINCTS” for observation. Growing up, I found that I also had passion for nature conservation and my training as a plant scientist increased my skills for monitoring flora biodiversity. In my quest to be that “Better Naturalist” I picked up interest in communicating biodiversity issues to local people. These where the “Aha” moments leading to my science for community development goals. I want to see my research projects not only have scientific impacts but also rural community development impacts.

Contributed by

Andrew Chibuzor ILOH Biodiversity Education and Resource Centre, Abuja Nigeria