09. January 2012 / Jessica Bridger
Focus On: South Africa
As many Topos readers know, the 2012 International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Congress will take place from the 5th to the 7th of September 2012 in Cape Town South Africa. South Africa, and more importantly Africa in general, have historically been a challenge for Topos to cover. The practice of landscape architecture in a formal sense is still developing in most regions of Africa, and education in landscape architecture is underrepresented in universities.
However, some recent projects and the advent of the internet era have the potential to change this, but we also need the help of Topos readers worldwide. Do you know about projects and happenings from the landscape community in African countries? Are you a practitioner in Tunisia, Kenya, Rawanda or South Africa or other African countries? Topos is interested in hearing from you about your projects and initiatives. Email us!
One long-standing project that Topos has been following since a visit from Editor-in-chief Robert Schäfer over a decade ago is Abalimi Bezekhaya, a project near Cape Town by the Farm Garden Trust. The project serves as a base to support the spread of micro-farming. Like many small farming projects now gaining exposure worldwide, Abalimi Bezekhaya and the Farm Garden Trust support community-based, small-scale projects as being good for individuals for sustenance, economic opportunity, and the growth of skills, social interaction and leadership qualities.
Just today we received word of a petition by the Farm Garden Trust to support Abalimi Bezekhaya and small-scale agriculture in South Africa through political means, to make "micro-farming" an agricultural policy priority. From their petition:
"Starvation is entirely avoidable - even in the worst situations - if people are given just a bit of land, some seed and some water. It is even possible to create one full-time job on as little as 500 square meters (and less) of land. People are not inherently poor – nor are they destined to remain so. Through the correct resources, training and assessment, all South Africans can live healthy lives of meaning and independence. This petition is hosted by the Farm & Garden National Trust."
According to the petition, 15% of the world's food supply is provided by small-scale growers. To sign the petition go to the following address: