Empowering The Smallholder Communities and Next Generation in Sustainable Watershed Management



EMPOWERING THE SMALLHOLDER COMMUNITIES AND NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS IN SUSTAINABLE Watershed Management for Rehabilitation of Degraded Arid and Semi-arid Rangelands Using Time Controlled Grazing and Community Empowerment and Capacity Building for Sustainable Development AS WELL AS IMPROVED LIVELIHOODS


A world leader in experiential education, adaptive research and holistic land and livestock management (HLLM), NBI exists to prepare Smallholder Communities living in degraded arid and semi-arid rangeland ecosystems next generation of agricultural leaders.


The Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute is located 54 km north of Masvingo City along the Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare Highway, in Chatsworth Area, in Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe (GPS coordinates S19o35.80’, E 30o46.21’,).


Philosophy and Hypothesis

Research Hypothesis I

Vegetation in arid or semi-arid rangelands is a function of human management or land use practice.

Research Hypothesis II

The missing dimensions are:

  1. Absence of an effective management structure to manage common property resources

  2. Inappropriate knowledge to manage degraded arid and semi-arid ecosystems

The Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute is also a Partner Organization of the Sustainable Food Systems Program (SFSP) of the 10 YFP Program.

Its activities primarily contribute to Goal Number 15 (LIFE ON LAND: PROTECT, RESTORE AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE USE OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS, SUSTAINABLY MANAGE FORESTS, COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, AND HALT AND REVERSE LAND DEGRADATION AND HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS SINCE HUMANS AND OTHER ANIMALS RELY ON OTHER FORMS OF LIFE ON LAND FOR FOOD) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Aside from Goal 15, NBI also addresses the following sustainable goals:

  • Goal 1: NO POVERTY: END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE

  • Goal 2: ZERO HUNGER: END HUNGER, ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY AND IMPROVED NUTRITION AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

  • Goal 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: PROMOTE SUSTAINED, INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, FULL AND PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND DECENT WORK FOR ALL

  • Goal 13: CLIMATE ACTION: TAKE URGENT ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACTS

  • Goal 5: GENDER EQUALITY: ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS

  • Goal 4: QUALITY EDUCATION: ENSURE INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE QUALITY EDUCATION AND PROMOTE LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

Guided by the four pillars of the Earth Charter; Respect and Care for Community of Life; Ecological Integrity; Social and Economic Justice and Democracy, Non-Violence and Peace that it embraces. NBI Zimbabwe is using the Earth Charter as an ethical framework for all of its individual projects and as an educational instrument for selected community outreach work areas. The programme is being implemented in Zimbabwe since 2003 when the founder become an Ashoka Fellow on the idea and is now at a Scale-up phase to other areas in Zimbabwe and globally. The innovation has gone through the following stages as follows:

  1. Development of the Idea Phase (I) 1986 to 2009 after training in Holistic Management (1886 in Alberquque USA at the Centre of Holistic Management); BSc Geography and Psychology (1991 by distance education with the University of South Africa; MSc in Ecology and Resource Management with Distinctions at Edinburgh University UK; LEAD a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Programme of Leadership for Sustainable Development that stretched from 1995 to 1997, BEARS ELP in 2008 Leadership for Sustainable Development Fellowship Programme and ASHOKA recognition a Social Entrepreneur in 2003 Trainings with stipend from 2003 to 2010. In this Phase the NBI in Zimbabwe as the implementing Unit and NBF in Washington DC as the fund raiser for NBI, were registered as NGO and 501c Not for Profit Organizations respectively to contact the implementation of the Innovation.

  2. Research and Development Phase (II) 2010 to 2015 with Ashoka Stipend. Pilot tested the idea in Musoni smallholder community in Buhera in 1987 to89, the Razi/Charinge Stallholder Community in Chivi in 1989 to 1995, Triangle Ranch in Chiredzi in 1990to 1995. This work resulted in the 1991 HLLM Award By Center for Holistic Resource Management, Alberquque USA; the 1991 HLLM Best Practice Award By the Research Council of Zimbabwe; the 1994 Best Practice Award By the Grasslands Society of Zimbabwe and the 2003 Social Entrepreneur Award By ASHOKA, Arlington, Washington DC, USA.

  3. Proof of Concept Phase (II) 2015 to 2018 with Tudor Trust Grants for the Outreach to Pilot test the innovation with smallholder communities in Ward 5 Mufiri Shurugwi. that are still running upto July 2021. The approach is improving the livelihood and environment as well as intensifying rangelands livestock productivity in the Piot Community. Also received the 2013 Communicator of the Year 2013 Award By the Banga Chiftanship, Ward 5 Mufiri, Shurugwi, Midlands Province, Zimbabwe and the 2014 Teach A Man to Fish Pan-African Award Winners 2013 By Pan-African -african-award-winners-2013 Award Winners 2013: March 2014: Country Winners: Zimbabwe

  4. Now at the Transition to Scale Phase. Now Fund Raising to Scale-up the work in Zimbabwe, East and Southern Africa; Costa Rica and USA.

Collaborative partnership: NBI Zimbabwe, USA, Costa Rica

  • Zimbabwe: Implementing partners are NBI, TSURO and CELUCT

  • Costa Rica: Earth University and Earth Charter International

  • USA: NBF- Washington DC 501C Not for Profit, and University TBA

The NBI experiential curriculum is guided by the Earth Charter four pillars of Respect and Care for the Community of life; Ecological Integrity; Social and Economic Justice and Democracy, Nonviolence and PEACE. (Earth Charter International - 2005). The Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute Training and Development Centre of Excellence provides public access to a first-class experiential education and the tools of discovery.

This has resulted in a culture of ambition and leadership, where physical scale is matched by bold goals and achievements. At NBI Zimbabwe our events and learning experiences are modelled on the changes we want to see in higher education and in our lives. Since its inception, environmental stewardship has been an integral part of NBI-Zimbabwe’s values, academic model and operations. At NBI-Zimbabwe, students learn to balance human activities, particularly agriculture, with biodiversity conservation in order to ensure long-term protection of the environment.

Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders in Sustainable Agriculture and Rehabilitation and Rejuvenation of Degraded Arid and Semi-Arid Rangeland Ecosystems. Enhancing Healthy, Wealthy, Food Secure Rural Communities with Sustainable Livelihoods in Ecologically Stable, Highly Productive Ecosystems in Zimbabwe and globally.

NBI will be one of the world leaders in experiential education, adaptive research on the Rehabilitation and Rejuvenation of Degraded Arid and Semi-Arid Rangeland Ecosystems. Restoring grasslands and reversing desertification while ensure ring food and nutrition security and eliminating poverty and hunger.


Development of the Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute Training Centre of Excellence at 12 Northdale Chatsworth Gutu District Masvingo Province







The long-term goal for the Institute is:

To facilitate and see wealthy, empowered resource managers, local communities, and academia sustainably managing semi-arid rangelands productively and with biodiverse, stable rural ecosystems.


THAT A FUNCTIONAL NJEREMOTO BIODIVERSITY DEMONSTRATION AND TRAINING INSTITUTE IS AN ESTABLISHED CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE, MONITORED, FULLY OPERATIONAL, SUSTAINED IN ZIMBABWE AND IS REPLICATED IN THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNTRIES BY DECEMBER 2020.

To create a landform for the demonstration of Sustainable Grazing and Wetland Utilization and Management based on Indigenous Shona Practices Prior to Introduction of Western Ideas in Zimbabwe at Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute by 31st December 2020

Core Values of NBI’s CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

  • Respect, Honesty and Integrity

  • Ethical Behaviour

  • Human Development

  • Academic Excellence

  • Social Consciousness

  • Excellence

  • Integrity

  • Team work (Majanha)

  • Holistic management

  • Sustainable development

  • Ecological sustainability

  • Improved livelihoods

  • Gendered

  • Innovative

  • The Search for Knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation.

  • To promote the health and well-being of under-5-year-old children living in pilot communities affiliated to Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute; in line with The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and The Millennium Development Goals 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 which the work of the Institute is guided by.

  • To empower rural communities on the Institute’s Holistic Land and Livestock (HLLM) Outreach Programme.

  • To eliminate hunger and enhance healthy, wealthy, food secure rural communities with sustainable livelihoods in ecologically stable, highly productive ecosystems in Zimbabwe and in similar ecosystems in Africa and globally.

“Just as we cultivate earth to have the good fruits of our labour, it is necessary to cultivate water, so that it maintains its quality and quantity for everyone, since everyone depends on her.” Jorge Samek, Direction General of ITAIPU, Brazil Cultivating Good Water Project.

Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute Animals and Landscape at Institute


NBI-Zimbabwe: HLLM Outreach Animals and Landscape in Community


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