The South-East Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) has been working with farmers since 1996 to enhance their skills in implementing community biodiversity management (CBM) in five countries in Asia: Bhutan, the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Our work is firmly rooted in processes that encourage awareness-raising and contribute to the empowerment of farming communities in the management of their agrobiodiversity and seed systems. Through these processes, farmers are made aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to (re-)gain access to, and control over, their livelihood assets. In addition, these processes strengthen the farmers’ capacity to make decisions autonomously, in a manner that conserves and sustains their agrobiodiversity. It is our goal to enhance the empowerment of farming communities by building their capabilities to engage in local and innovative research, and by promoting the recognition of, and respect for, men and women farmers, as co-equals of scientists and plant breeders.