The Flourishing Diversity Programme represents an exciting progression in the special relationship we share with Synchronicity Earth, who act to address overlooked and underfunded conservation challenges for globally threatened species and ecosystems.
Co-founder of Synchronicity Earth, Jessica Sweidan, along with members of the Synchronicity Earth team, played an instrumental role in the creation and delivery of the 2019 Flourishing Diversity Series. Working alongside anthropologist and UCL professor Jerome Lewis (whose research led to the conception of ‘Flourishing Diversity’), and other key contributors, the 2019 series of events was the dawning of what was to become Flourishing Diversity platform – a blossoming ecosystem of people, communities, organisations and ideas.
Since then, Synchronicity Earth has played a pivotal role in working with us to grow this platform, by housing Flourishing Diversity within their organisation and contributing to the development of the ecosystem and activities.
Catalysed by the 2019 Flourishing Diversity Series, combined with Synchronicity Earth’s decade of experience in the grassroots conservation sector, the Flourishing Diversity Programme has been created for three key purposes:
- To support partners to defend Indigenous and community territories
- To protect and revive biological and cultural diversity
- To increase the focus on diversity more broadly within conservation, development work and philanthropy.
Protecting Territories of Life
Over the past decade, Synchronicity Earth has supported partners in Central Africa and Papua New Guinea to secure their territories and defend against monocultures and other destructive developments. As part of the Flourishing Diversity Programme, Synchronicity Earth has expanded their work to include partners in Latin America, East Africa and Asia, such as LifeMosaic, who work with Indigenous youth in Peru and Indonesian Papua to protect thousands of hectares of rainforest; and the initiatives of the Chepkitale Ogiek in Kenya, to remain on and protect their ancestral forests on the slopes of Mount Elgon.
Supporting Biocultural Diversity
“Biodiversity, culture and language are deeply intertwined. Throughout history, humans have interacted with nature – and as part of nature – to meet their needs, from food and medicine to spiritual connection and mental wellbeing.” Katy Scholfield, Head of Biocultural Diversity at Synchronicity Earth.
Funding to protect and revive biocultural diversity is severely limited. It is with this in mind that the Flourishing Diversity Programme was founded, with the aim to support Indigenous Peoples and local communities to revive, regenerate, celebrate and protect their sacred natural sites and rituals; their languages and the ancestral environmental knowledge held within them; and Indigenous seeds and food systems.
Amplifying Flourishing Diversity
Synchronicity Earth is working alongside a number of strategic partners to help embed the concept and importance of ‘Flourishing Diversity’ into wider conservation and development work and funding. This work includes creating bridges between local partners and diverse audiences by using creative communications and wide-reaching networks to promote how biocultural diversity, and not uniformity or monoculture, is key to supporting a healthy, resilient planet for all species.
You can find out more about Synchronicity Earth’s Flourishing Diversity Programme here, including examples of the ways in which the different components of the programme are being brought to life, and how to become a donor.
In this article, Katy Scholfield from Synchronicity Earth unpacks what Biocultural Diversity means to her and describes a trip to Liberia that inspired her to increasingly focus on reducing monocultural practices.