ZAAB is a network organisation, coordinated by a national secretariat based in Lusaka. There are three membership categories: core organisational members, associate partners and individuals.
ZAAB organisational members reach a wide constituency through their own membership base and programme activities that are undertaken across the country. Much of the direct member work with farmers aims at facilitating training on agroecology and Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS), supporting farmer dialogues and broad information sharing and exchange. Other members work in public research and policy advocacy and have a long history of contribution to ecological and social justice in Zambia. ZAAB fills a niche gap with its focus on agroecology and food sovereignty. We work in collaboration to uphold good governance, facilitate information exchange across sectors, support networking and collective advocacy, research and training. ZAAB aims to build public awareness and advocacy from the ground up, enabling citizens to participate in governance processes and contribute to building a viable future for Zambia.
The Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity Conservation is a united network of concerned citizens, civil society groups and farmer based organisations, working together to strengthen the growing movement for agroecology and food sovereignty in Zambia
ZAAB was initiated in 2010 when a number of civil society and farmer focused organisations came together to defend Zambia’s threatened ‘NO GMO’ presidential declaration of 2002. The civil society alliance continued to operate as a united advocacy network and grew in membership and scope of interest. In 2017, the network organisation was formalised and shortened its name to ZAAB (Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity) in acknowledgment of our holistic existence and biodiversity as a living system, integral to all human life.
Today, ZAAB advocates for citizens’ rights to food sovereignty, embedded within an ecological and socially just Zambia. We support the adoption of agroecology as a holistic, citizenry solution to sustainably build Zambia’s food and farming systems and strengthen resilience against climate change.
ZAAB is concerned that our future is being threatened as economic benefits for a minority are consistently prioritised over and above basic human rights of the majority population and environmental sustainability. Zambia’s agro-food systems are increasingly industrialised, underpinned by the symbolic, so called ‘Green Revolution'. We witness the progressive privatization and control of land, seeds, forests, water, labour – as well as markets – and thus whole production and consumption systems.
Around the world, corporate agribusiness and food retail industries hold increasing market share, that strengthens their power to further control the functioning of the global agro-food system. Many African countries including Zambia, are being compelled to amend national legislation to facilitate increased export oriented trade and the market benefits of multinational corporations. In the process, agrobiodiversity and locally contextual, culturally appropriate nutritious food systems are devalued and destroyed, while inequality rises and communities are dislocated.
Agroecology has developed as a global alternative to industrial agriculture. The science of agroecology applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of production systems.
“Today agroecology has been taken up by rural social movements and progressive NGOs and academics, and is seen as a transformative science, practice and movement that is explicitly committed to a more just and sustainable future by reshaping power relations from farm to table” (Declaration: The role of agroecology on the future of agriculture and the food system. The Call from Brasilia, September 2017)
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"There is no national consensus on GMOs: we maintain the
Right to say No to GMOs in our food and agri-culture"
ZAAB communique adopted at the 5th December 2020 Annual General Meeting, Blue Crest Lodge, Lusaka
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The citizens of Zambia, have repeatedly stated their absolute objection to Modern Biotechnology and the production of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Today, this position is reiterated as we support the global call for a moratorium on Gene Drive releases, including applied research such as open field trial releases, until there is further understanding of the potential risks and technical issues. We request our National Representatives to do the same at the upcoming 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on […]
Dear representatives of the people of Zambia to the Convention of Biological Diversity, We wish you well in your travels to Egypt and the critical negotiations you will undertake on behalf of the citizens of Zambia. We understand the nature of the discussions at this year’s CBD COP will be highly controversial and critical in determining the future course of humanity’s use and manipulation of genetic resources – and in turn – the impact of nature on humanity. Of particular concern to us, are […]
Zambia’s Position on GMOs and the Revised Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003 March 2018-7/03/2018
Zambia must continue to uphold the highest biosafety standards Zambia’s approach to biosafety since the development of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003 has been cautious and aimed at ensuring high standards of human, environmental and socio-economic well-being. We are alarmed that the biotech industry is eroding this approach in favour of promoting and protecting the interests of that industry. We reject this shift. Key concerns in the revised policy include: Abandoning the precautionary principle in favour of creating incentives for innovation for industry. […]
We have walked a celebrated journey together to come to this point today. Seven years ago, four organisations and concerned individuals came together in common concern: the weakening of the Zambian biosafety legislation and an equitable food and agriculture future for all in Zambia. From our 2010 roots in a common advocacy voice, the civil society alliance has grown in membership and scope of work. Today the ZAAB network has 16 organisational members, local and regional associates and a broad individual membership base. The launch […]