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Alexander Wezel – 1st expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Challenges and Action Points to Amplify Agroecology in Europe
    Sustainability, 2018
    Co-Authors: Alexander Wezel, Stephane Bellon, Margriet Goris, Janneke Bruil, Georges F. Félix, Alain Peeters, Paolo Bàrberi, Paola Migliorini


    Agriculture in Europe results in the production of food for both the European population and for the export sector. Significant environmental and social problems have emerged with the intensification of European agriculture. These include the loss of biodiversity, the contamination of soils, water, and food with pesticides, and the eutrophication of water bodies. Industrialized agricultural and food systems are also a major contributing factor in the decline of farm numbers, and the high use of antibiotics has led to serious human health problems. In this respect, Agroecology can provide insights into important pathways and guide the design, development, and promotion of the transition towards sustainable farming and food systems. An analysis of the major challenges for the amplification of Agroecology in Europe was carried out by 310 stakeholders in a World Cafe exercise and 23 sessions and workshops during the Agroecology Europe Forum 2017. The different challenges that were identified can be grouped into seven categories: (1) definition and concepts; (2) education, training, and knowledge sharing; (3) research approach and funding; (4) policies; (5) productivity and practices; (5) food systems and consumer awareness; and (6) co-optation. To address these challenges, the following key actions are recommended: (1) to develop a common understanding of Agroecology; (2) to enhance education in Agroecology and knowledge exchange; (3) to invest in agroecological research; (4) to develop policies enhancing Agroecology; (5) to support new and existing agroecological practices; (6) to transform food systems; and (7) to strengthen communication and alliances. In this paper we present and discuss these recommendations for pathways and actions to develop sustainable agro-food systems in Europe through Agroecology.

  • Agroecology in europe research education collective action networks and alternative food systems
    Sustainability, 2018
    Co-Authors: Alexander Wezel, Julia Goette, Elisabeth Lagneaux, Gloria Passuello, Erica Reisman, Christophe Rodier, Gregoire Turpin


    Agroecology is considered with different focus and weight in different parts of the world as a social and political movement, as science, and as practice. Despite its multitude of definitions, Agroecology has begun in Europe to develop in different regional, national and continental networks of researchers, practitioners, advocates and movements. However, there is a lack of a comprehensive overview about these different developments and networks. Therefore, this paper attempts to document and provide a mapping of the development of European Agroecology in its diverse forms. Through a literature review, interviews, active conference participation, and an extensive internet search we have collected information about the current state and development of Agroecology in Europe. Agroecological research and higher education exist more in western and northern Europe, but farm schools and farmer-to-farmer training are also present in other regions. Today a large variety of topics are studied at research institutions. There is an increasing number of bottom-up agroecological initiatives and national or continental networks and movements. Important movements are around food sovereignty, access to land and seeds. Except for France, there are very few concrete policies for Agroecology in Europe. Agroecology is increasingly linked to different fields of agri-food systems. This includes Community Supported Agriculture systems, but also agroecological territories, and some examples of labelling products. To amplify Agroecology in Europe in the coming years, policy development will be crucial and proponents of Agroecology must join forces and work hand-in-hand with the many stakeholders engaged in initiatives to develop more sustainable agriculture and food systems.

  • converging and diverging principles and practices of organic agriculture regulations and Agroecology a review
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2017
    Co-Authors: Paola Migliorini, Alexander Wezel


    There is ongoing debate among stakeholders about the future development of agricultural and food systems to meet the global challenges of food supply, biological and cultural diversity, climate change, and social justice. Among other options, Agroecology and organic agriculture are discussed. Both have similar goals and use a systems approach; however, they are recognised and received differently by stakeholders. Here we review and compare principles and practices defined and described in EU organic agriculture regulations, International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM) norms, and Agroecology scientific literature. The main finding are as follows: (1) Regarding principles, EU organic regulations mainly focus on appropriate design and management of biological processes based on ecological systems, restriction of external inputs, and strict limitation of chemical inputs. IFOAM principles are very broad and more complete, and include a holistic and systemic vision of sustainability. Agroecology has a defined set of principles for the ecological management of agri-food systems, which also includes some socio-economic principles. (2) Many proposed cropping practices are similar for EU organic, IFOAM, and Agroecology, e.g. soil tillage, soil fertility and fertilisation, crop and cultivar choice, crop rotation, as well as pest, disease and weed management. In contrast, the origin and quantity of products potentially used for soil fertilisation and pest, disease, and weed management are different. Additionally, some practices are only mentioned for one of the three sources. (3) In animal production, only a few proposed practices are similar for EU organic, IFOAM, and Agroecology. These include integration of cropping and animal systems and breed choice. In contrast, practices for animal management, prevention methods in animal health, animal housing, animal welfare, animal nutrition, and veterinary management are defined or described differently. (4) Related to food systems, organic agriculture focusses on technical aspects, such as food processing, while in Agroecology there is a prominent debate between a transformative and conformative agenda. Both Agroecology and organic agriculture offer promising contributions for the future development of sustainable agricultural production and food systems, especially if their principles and practices converge to a transformative approach and that impedes the conventionalisation of agro-food systems.

Charles Francis – 2nd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Agroecology Education and Research: An Academic Platform for Organic Farming
    , 2020
    Co-Authors: Charles Francis, Tor Arvid Breland, Geir Lieblein, Mike Moulton, Lennart Salomonsson, Ulrika Geber, Vibeke Langer, Nadarajah Sriskandarajah, John R. Porter, Juha Helenius


    Agroecology education and research programs are gaining prominence in universities. This emerging field provides an appropriate and convenient platform for bringing organic farming into academia. Agroecology deals with complex systems, uncertainty, and the future. Examples from organic farming and local food systems often provide valuable examples of applications of the principles of ecology in designing a sustainable agriculture. The Agroecology MSc program in the NOVA network is a successful example of how organic farming can be brought into university programs, and how interdisciplinary education and research can tap into a regional faculty in agriculture.

  • Agroecology in practice
    , 2020
    Co-Authors: Karin Eksvärd, Charles Francis, Gabriella Lönngren, Margarita Cuadra, Börje Johansson, Stella Namanji, Torbjörn Rydberg, Charles Ssekyewa, Charlott Gissén, Lennart Salomonsson


    This publication not only presents a basic platform that, according to the authors, provides for R&D to contribute to sustainable development. It also gives an overview of Agroecology as well as a peek into the work, ideas and activities of agroecologists ‘walking their talk’ of this broad subject.

    The reader is quickly facilitated to think about core issues for sustainable development through the presentation of accepted starting points for our knowledge development and possible alternatives. Practical consequences in the area of Agroecology are given and shared in examples and the more personal chapters.

    The publication can also be used as a piece of literature to build any length of Agroecology education and training on. Use only examples, the whole report, or go further with the help of the in depth suggestions and given literature. Any story needed can easily be added on.

    The material can be downloaded at and is free to share.
    We hope you enjoy this presentation of Agroecology and that it will inspire and encourage you on the walk of your talk.

    , 2014
    Co-Authors: Lennart Salomonsson, Charles Francis, Geir Lieblein, Margarita Cuadra, Girmay Tesfay, Charles Ssekyawa, Bryan Mendieta, Tor Arvid Breland


    Students interested in achieving advanced education in agriculture and food systems using holistic, integrated approaches can find MSc programmes in Agroecology that meet such demand at universities such as UMB in Norway and ISARA in France. Many students now seek opportunities to pursue a PhD degree using a systems approach across disciplines. Interdisciplinary research in Agroecology is embraced by a dispersed group of researchers around the world, and few universities have their own capacity to offer adequate PhD courses and supervision for such interdisciplinary PhD training. To design a new programme, we have established an international network of Agroecology researchers, advisors, and instructors from several universities in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. They were recruited to organize a post-graduate study programme in Agroecology that will provide courses and dissertation opportunities. Using a combination of distance and blended courses, regional workshops, and electronic networking, an international faculty will offer high-level education and research supervision to help talented candidates in national research programmes, universities, aid and non-profit agencies, and private industry achieve a doctoral degree.

Peter Rosset – 3rd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Agroecology and la via campesina ii peasant Agroecology schools and the formation of a sociohistorical and political subject
    Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 2019
    Co-Authors: Peter Rosset, Lia Pinheiro Barbosa, Nils Mccune


    ABSTRACTScaling up of peasant Agroecology and building food sovereignty require major transformations that only a self-aware, critical, collective political subject can achieve. The global peasant …

  • Agroecology as a territory in dispute between institutionality and social movements
    The Journal of Peasant Studies, 2018
    Co-Authors: Omar Felipe Giraldo, Peter Rosset


    Agroecology is in fashion, and now constitutes a territory in dispute between social movements and institutionality. This new conjuncture offers a constellation of opportunities that social movements can avail themselves of to promote changes in the food system. Yet there is an enormous risk that Agroecology will be co-opted, institutionalized, colonized and stripped of its political content. In this paper, we analyze this quandary in terms of political ecology: will Agroecology end up as merely offering a few more tools for the toolbox of industrial agriculture, to fine tune an agribusiness system that is being restructured in the midst of a civilizational crisis or, alternatively, will it be strengthened as a politically mobilizing option for building alternatives to development? We interpret the contemporary dispute over Agroecology through the lenses of contested material and immaterial territories, political ecology, and the first and second contradictions of capital.

  • bringing Agroecology to scale key drivers and emblematic cases
    Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 2018
    Co-Authors: Mateo Mier Teran Gimenez Y Cacho, Peter Rosset, Omar Felipe Giraldo, Miriam Aldasoro, Helda Morales, Bruce G Ferguson, Ashlesha Khadse, Carmen Campos


    ABSTRACTAgroecology as a transformative movement has gained momentum in many countries worldwide. In several cases, the implementation of agroecological practices has grown beyond isolated, local experiences to be employed by ever-greater numbers of families and communities over ever-larger territories and to engage more people in the processing, distribution, and consumption of agroecologically produced food. To understand the nonlinear, multidimensional processes that have enabled and impelled the bringing to scale of Agroecology, we review and analyze emblematic cases that include the farmer-to-farmer movement in Central America; the national peasant Agroecology movement in Cuba; the organic coffee boom in Chiapas, Mexico; the spread of Zero Budget Natural Farming in Karnataka, India; and the agroecological farmer–consumer marketing network “Rede Ecovida,” in Brazil. On the basis of our analysis, we identify eight key drivers of the process of taking Agroecology to scale: (1) recognition of a crisis th…