Today, International Biodiversity Day 2019, PAN Asia Pacific relaunched its agroecology platform the International People’s Agroecology Multiversity (IPAM) via its new website (www.ipam-global.org). Together with the website launch, various activities celebrating biodiversity were held in IPAM Field Learning Sites across Asia.
In Tamil Nadu, India, the Women Training Centre commemorated Biodiversity Day with 80 women agricultural workers (Dalits, Irulas, and Mathammas) by a training on the use of agroecological methods; while at the Kolunji Ecological Farm, the youth took part in a seed collection activity aimed at helping them identify the trees species on their locality and their multiple benefits. In Bangladesh, BARCIK Rameshwarpur Resource Centre held a seed exchange, rallies, a human chain, public dialogues, and a biodiversity and agroecology fair in the districts of Satkhira, Netrakona, Rajshahi, and Manikganj. In the Philippines, a tour of the Imulayan Organic Resource Center in Davao City was hosted and a discussion on the impacts of rice liberalization was held; while in Quezon City, collective land cultivation was done at the SAKA Bungkalan Project.
IPAM is a research-learning-action approach to agroecology that focuses on small-food producers and farming communities. It promotes agroecology as a sustainable approach to agriculture and food production and development, in the framework of food sovereignty, ecological and social justice. It is an innovative approach developed by a network of farmers and women’s organisations, NGOs, researchers and academic institutions.
IPAM is a network of Field Learning Sites (FLS) situated in different communities across regions. The FLSs are training centres or campuses of farmers’ fields, CSOs, institutions and universities that offers on-site learning on agroecological farming methods, innovations and techniques. The FLSs offer structured sessions, study tours, visits, immersions and exchanges among farmers, students, CSOs and researchers.
Since it was first launched in 2016, IPAM has reached out to at least 15 countries in Asia Pacific and Africa, and has 50 Field Learning Sites enlisted in its platform.
The Field Learning Sites are the heart of IPAM. Managed by farmers, farmers’ groups and collaborators such as universities, institutes and CSOs, IPAM links the various FLSs and brings the knowledge on agroecological methods, innovations, and techniques from the ground-up. Through the different actions, initiatives and efforts of the FLSs, IPAM becomes dynamic and vibrant, thus contributing to building movements and strengthening global solidarity towards agroecology.
The relaunch of IPAM during the International Biodiversity Day 2019 is a most relevant time. The UN’s theme for International Biodiversity Day, “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health,” is aligned with IPAM’s goals of achieving food sovereignty, promoting people’s health and protecting the planet.
Through regional and global advocacy, PANAP has been steadily pushing for agroecology as an alternative to chemical farming and an answer to corporate agriculture, which is destroying people’s health and the environment. ###