The African Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (AIBIS) is a Ugandan registered non-profit making organization that is focused mainly on using indigenous knowledge to build sustainable communities that collectively work and earn their livelihoods while addressing the social and environmental challenges that face the African continent.


Sustainable communities in Uganda working together to attain and maintain social, economic and environmental justice.


To foster positive society outlook towards biodiversity sustainability through action-oriented research, knowledge sharing and collective interventions..

AIBIS has its head office in Kiboga Town but it is mandated to work in the whole of Uganda. The Districts where AIBIS already has its presence include, Kiboga,Kyankwanzi, Kassanda and Kalangala in Central Uganda, Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa,Kibaale, Kagadi in Midwestern Uganda, Mbarara, BUhweju and Kasese in South Western Uganda.

The target beneficiaries of AIBIS include among others, small holder farmers, fisherfolk, artisanal and small scale miners, women and youth affected by extractives such as the oil industry, large plantations such as those of sugar cane, those exposed to the negative effects of agrochemicals and those experiencing hardships due to environmental degradation and climate change. The participation and involvement of women is at the centre of all AIBIS programmes.  AIBIS applies a strong youth and women centered approach to environmental justice, in relation to land, food and energy, among others.

The formation of AIBIS has roots in reflections and lessons learnt out of the COVID-19 pandemic. With COVID-19 raging mostly in urban areas, the majority of Ugandans moved to their upcountry homes where they largely survived on non-market food supplies mostly from small holder farms that are usually run by women. With hospitals full and lacking essential facilities to handle the scourge, majority of Ugandans turned to all sorts of traditional herbal medicine as an alternative remedy to the new killer disease.  All these were happening against Uganda’s current development trajectory where;

  • Large commercial agriculture that emphasizes producing for the markets is being encouraged by the government and its development partners against small holder farming.
  • Indigenous seeds and indigenous methods of farming are being seen as backward and farmers are being encouraged to discard them.
  • Seeds are being commercialized and there is growing reliance on seed shops every planting season.
  • Use of agro-chemicals such as synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides is on the increase for both large scale and small holder farmers leading to degradation of soils and making farming very unsustainably expensive.
  • Indigenous/natural forests that support biodiversity, are key to climate change mitigation and host varieties of medicinal plants are being cleared to pave way for large monocultural agriculture plantations such as those of oil palm and sugarcane.
  • Monoculture forests such as those of pine and eucalyptus are being encouraged despite their limited support for biodiversity.
  • Clearing of bushes and shrubs for large scale commercial agriculture is threatening to make some of the medicinal herbs very rare to get or are already extinct.
  • Indigenous knowledge on the use and safety of herbal medicine is threatened by modern education which degrades it as backward and lacking in proper documentation.
  • Small scale farmers are having their land grabbed by large commercial agriculture projects and extractives such as oil.
  • Women who are the main breadwinners of their families in Africa still have limited rights to land ownership and use and no decision making powers in natural resource management.
  • There are no clear laws in place to regulate agro-chemicals along the whole food chain.
  • There is a growing threat of Uganda passing the law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that will see some seed varieties being modified, patented, and taken out of the hands of ordinary farmers.
  • Plastics and polythene bags are becoming a big problem in the country especially to famers and fisherfolk but with little efforts from the government to address their impacts on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Increased use of dangerous chemicals like mercury in the artisanal small gold mining but government not making it a priority to support the ASGM with alternatives but rather becoming strong on licensing their small operations.