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Wim Hiemstra works with ETC Foundation on the transition to ecologically-oriented rural development based on rural people’s worldviews, culture and traditional knowledge in both the global north and south. He is trained in organic farming, both in technical aspects and in participatory and community-led approaches. Wim was among the initiators of the ILEIA programme, focusing on low-external-input and sustainable agriculture (www.leisa.org). As ETC senior advisor, he has been advising sustainable agricultural programmes of NGOs in Indonesia, Thailand, Ghana and Latin American countries.
From 1996 onwards, he has been involved in the ETC COMPAS programme (www.compasnet.org), a network of communities, NGOs and universities to support endogenous development or ‘development from within’. He has (co-)published magazines (LEISA Magazine and Endogenous Development Magazine) and books on above topics, often based on studies analysing experiences across a large number of cases. In 2011, he joined a continuing professional development course ‘Wellbeing and human development’ University of Bath. Since 2011 he is involved in supporting the development of Biocultural Community Protocols in Africa and Asia to implement the UN Convention on Biodiversity.
Since 2012, he is member of the citizens’ initiative ‘King of the Meadows’ (www.keningfanegreide.nl), focusing on migratory birds, agro-biodiversity and developing European-African partnerships of farmer organisations around agro-ecological intensification that suit farmers and biodiversity (birds). He facilitated a citizens’ jury and a learning exchange with a NGO from Uganda on citizens’ participation and social media in April 2013 in connection to agro-biodiversity in Fryslân, the Netherlands. Wim is also member of the management support group to the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative, which is hosted at ETC Foundation.