Second International Symposium on Agroecology

About the symposium

Agroecology brings together scientific disciplines, social concepts and practices. The scientific core of agroecology is based on applying ecological concepts and principles to optimize interactions between plants, trees, animals, humans and the environment. In addition, agroecology places social issues at the centre of solutions for a sustainable and fair food system. As a set of practices, agroecology provides multiple benefits to society and the environment, by restoring ecosystem services and biodiversity. Thanks to its integrated approach, agroecology is key to boost food and nutrition security, while improving the resilience of agro-ecosystems.

In 2014, the 1st International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition provided an opportunity to share experiences and build the evidence base on agroecology, as well as reaching a consensus on the priorities for achieving more sustainable food systems through agroecology. It also endorsed FAO’s role in supporting further implementation and promotion of agroecological approaches.

Following the international symposium, FAO facilitated a Global Dialogue that involved approximately 1,350 multi-stakeholder participants from 162 member countries, taking part in a series of regional meetings in 2015 and 2016. The Global dialogue showcased the important contribution of agroecology, especially in terms of:

  1. enhancing smallholder and family farmers’ adaptation and resilience  to the impacts of climate change;
  2. improving nutrition including through more diversified diets;
  3. protecting and enhancing agro-biodiversity in support of ecosystem services such as pollination and soil health;
  4. improving livelihoods in rural areas;
  5. achieving a transformative change in agricultural practices towards sustainable development. 

The 2nd International Symposium will synthesize and build on the outcomes of the regional meetings, and provide an opportunity to share and discuss policies that can help scale-up and scale-out agroecology in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Symposium will also move the topic of agroecology in FAO from dialogue to activities at the regional and country level by complementing on-going initiatives to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture, identifying opportunities for synergies with FAO’s Strategic Programmes and Regional Initiatives, and facilitating South-South cooperation.

A new forward looking and action-oriented “Scaling-up Agroecology Initiative” will be launched in cooperation with major partners, including IFAD and others. 

Scaling up Agroecology Initiative 


A proposal prepared for the Symposium. This document presents the Scaling up Agroecology Initiative, a vision to bring agroecologya to scale and transform food and agricultural systems to achieve the SDGs.