Theme 3

Agroecology as a response to climate change

Rationale

Agriculture faces many different challenges and has partly lost its connections with nature and with society. This led to several undesired and mostly unforeseen negative consequences. The search for more sustainable pathways for agriculture development has shifted the focus of attention from individual practices at field level towards the farm dimension, farm organization (ex. in terms of autonomy), farm landscape cooperation (ex. in terms of biodiversity), and even food issues. In all cases, reconnections or new connections between agriculture and its environment (weather nature or society) must be redesigned and created.

iPES FOOD  confirms: “What is required is a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes, replacing chemical inputs, optimizing biodiversity and stimulating interactions between different species, as part of holistic strategies to build long-term fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, i.e. ‘diversified agroecological systems’.”

Objectives and orientations for abstracts

This theme aims to explore how farming systems approaches can provide new insights for agroecology as a response to climate change with contributions from different entry points and from various disciplines. We explicitly welcome contributions that make the link between different scales (i.e., field, farm, regional, landscape, and food system level).

Abstracts are invited to address (but are not limited to) the following questions starting from practice level up to farm and food system level:

 

  1. Facilitating agrobiodiversity at field, farm or landscape level
    What are agroecological practices to adapt to or mitigate the climate change? What AE practices can improve agrobiodiversity in this context and, eventually, provide more stability or resilience?
  2. Adaptation through new practices, technologies or arrangements
    What are the barriers to open in order to engage agriculture towards more agroecological practices, what prevents the adoption of these technologies, and how can they be overcome?
    What setups, tools and methods are available to both study and facilitate the emergence and implementation of diversified agroecological systems? How do these new tools address the specific question of embedding the climate change effects on these agroecological systems?
  3. Transition at territorial scale
    How to organize new arrangements to link the farm with (territorial) food systems? What is the relevance of new arrangements (agroforestry, community supported agriculture, urban agriculture) to strengthen diversified agroecological systems, and/or to enhance their capacities to address climate change stakes?
    How can such agroecological systems induce a transition in farming systems (from practice design to political or social support)? Specifically, how do they contribute to agroecological transitions at territorial scale, and/or how do they tackle the climate change perpective?