Agroecology in Action
An alternative to chemical-based, pesticide-heavy and fertilizer-dependent farming
Across the globe, the practice of Agroecology has been gaining grounds as an alternative to chemical-based, pesticide-heavy and fertilizer-dependent farming. Studies and experiences of small food producers worldwide have demonstrated that agroecology (including all forms of biodiverse, integrated and diversified farming approaches combined with local knowledge systems) have sustained and fed communities while coping with the changing climate. It is being practiced by millions of farmers on millions of hectares on all continents. Apart from its environmental benefits, agroecology has many other health and social benefits. Because agroecology uses bio-diverse systems, it contributes more diverse diets thereby improving nutrition, especially in food-producing communities. It also improves livelihoods of farming households because it minimizes use of expensive farm inputs. Furthermore, because of its knowledge-intensive and labor-intensive characteristic, agroecology supports rural development by creating more employment opportunities in rural areas.
PAN Asia Pacific has been advocating agroecology for more than a decade. By organising farmers’ exchanges, study tours, training and workshops and other regional and global initiatives, PANAP has been promoting agroecology as an alternative to chemical-based, mono-crop farming and as a mechanism in coping with climate change. Apart from its Food Sovereignty and Ecological Agriculture programme, PANAP has established regional and global platforms in its agroecology advocacy.
Among these platforms is the 16 Days of Global Action on Land and Resources, which is a series of collective action of farmers groups, movements and advocacy groups from different countries from October 1 to 16 highlighting the issues of climate change, pesticides, food sovereignty and agroecology. In 2017, the theme is “Advance Food Sovereignty And Agroecology! Promote Youth’s Participation In Agriculture!” . The 2016 16 Days of Global Action has successfully reached out to more than 380,000 people across the globe, with more than 200 partners and network groups in 18 countries in Asia, Pacific, Africa and Latin America. Among the initiatives by the 34 participating groups were: collection of climate-friendly traditional farming technologies and methods, workshops, field trainings, exchanges and farmers’ markets. (click here to see photos of the 2016 activities)
Another platform is the International People’s Agroecology Multiversity (IPAM), a research-learning-action approach to agroecology that focuses on small-food producers and farming communities. IPAM 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 has five platforms namely:
- The Knowledge Platform – a one-stop resource centre on agroecology and has access to hundreds of materials, from on-ground researches and case studies to academic researches.
- The Research Platform – a forum to promote and share ideas and do collaborative work on participatory researches, evidence-based documentation, innovations and case studies on agroecology.
- The Learning Platform – offers on-site and online training courses; webinars, and online learning modules and videos for short- and long-term sessions. This site also offers the hub for the Field Learning Sites.
- The Community Building Platform – documents success stories from the ground on various agroecological practices, innovations and techniques.
- The Action Platform – supports communities and movements through petitions and alerts in support of campaigns, networking and mobilisation from local to global arenas.
Together we can protect children against pesticides by making changes to what children eat and how agriculture can be grown without pesticides. Parents and teachers can urge governments and policy makers to ban and phase out toxic pesticides that are harmful to children. Help us create a pesticides free world together!
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