During Gravitazz’ start-up phase, some of the issues confronted with did not fall under Gravitazz’s umbrella, such as the aspect of “land grabbing”. A series of discussions and exchanges with members from international academia revealed that the topic of large-scale land acquisitions in Africa needed further attention and a platform for debate and action. This resulted in the successful organisation of a conference on the subject of land grabs in November 2014 and a South Africa Round Table on Land in July 2014. It further occasioned the birth of the Gravitazz Continental Initiative (GCI), a Not-for-Profit Organisation (NPO), in order to raise funds, awareness, advocacy and lobbying of governments with regards to burning, sensitive, and neglected issues with potential for longer-term catastrophic consequences.
Gravitazz Continental Initiative (GCI) is a Not for Profit Organization (NPO) based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a focus on Africa.
It draws attention to neglected issues on the continent; these include the management and conservation of natural resources, land governance, disaster prevention and environmental protection, accountability and sustainable management of land across the African continent.
The foundation thereby seeks to significantly improve livelihoods and to contribute to socio-economic development. Thus, GCI encourages the conservation of natural resources and the empowerment of communities to determine their own long-term destinies.
GCI strives to get governments, private sector and especially community stakeholders to start thinking of long term implications of decisions taken today. GCI also fosters a spirit of partnership and cooperation through information sharing, networking, and collaboration with other organisations on issues of land governance and water conservation. GCI for example has taken up the neglected but extremely pertinent issue of ‘land grabbing’ whereby powerful multinational companies are buying large tracks of arable land with long term consequences. GCI sees ‘land grabs’ as a potentially explosive disaster in the next 20 to 30 years if not carefully examined and addressed urgently by all stakeholders including governments and businesses with the participation of grass root communities.
GCI equally seeks solutions by organising open discussions such as dialogues and conferences, workshops etc towards neglected potential disaster issues on the continent with careful attention to the respect of Human Rights, democracy and equality at all levels, while encouraging gender representation and youth involvement and participation.
GCI is an organisation with an interest in promoting and strengthening grassroots resilience, indigenous knowledge and civil society pro-action towards neglected issues; particularly disaster prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, land management and long term scenario planning. GCI will, without undue pressure, collaborate with and support partnerships with other organisations in a symbolic manner while respecting the rights of partner organisations, to pursue their own fundraising and programme initiatives.
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