Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition - HLPE e-consultation on the Report’s scope, proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee
Please note that in parallel to this scoping consultation, the HLPE is calling for interested experts to candidate to the Project Team for this report. The Project Team will be selected by the end of 2017 and will work until June 2019. The call for candidature is open until 15 November 2017; visit the HLPE website www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe for more details
Proposed draft Scope of the HLPE Report
by the HLPE Steering Committee
Innovation has been a major engine for agriculture transformation in the past decades and will be pivotal to address the needs of a rapidly growing population and the increased pressure over natural resources (including biodiversity, land and water) in a context of climate change. Agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies can play a critical role to strengthen sustainable agriculture and food systems in order to successfully combat hunger, malnutrition and poverty and contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda.
Building sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition (FSN) will require not only to develop new knowledge and technologies but also: to fill the technology gaps; to facilitate the effective access and use of existing technologies; and to develop context-specific solutions, adapted to local food systems and local ecosystems.
Beyond technical issues, this report will assess the importance of bottom-up and people-centered approaches, building on different forms of knowledge, as well as the role of good governance and strong institutions. It will explore the enabling conditions needed to foster scientific, technical, financial, political and institutional innovations for enhanced FSN.
Agroecology, described simultaneously as a science, a set of practices and a social movement, will be studied in this report, as an example of such holistic innovative approaches combining science and traditional knowledge systems, technologies and ecological processes, and involving all the relevant stakeholders in inclusive, participative and innovative governance mechanisms.
This report will also examine the limitations and potential risks of innovative approaches for FSN, human health, livelihoods and the environment. Confronted by major environmental, economic and social challenges, policy-makers need to understand how to optimize and scale-up the contributions of agroecological and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies, while harnessing these potential associated risks.
The HLPE report shall address the following questions:
- To what extent can agroecological and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies improve resource efficiency, minimize ecological footprint, strengthen resilience, secure social equity and responsibility, and create decent jobs, in particular for youth, in agriculture and food systems?
- What are the controversies and uncertainties related to innovative technologies and practices? What are their associated risks? What are the barriers to the adoption of agroecology and other innovative approaches, technologies and practices and how to address them? What are their impacts on FSN in its four dimensions (availability, access, utilization and stability), human health and well-being, and the environment?
- What regulations and standards, what instruments, processes and governance mechanisms are needed to create an enabling environment for the development and implementation of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies that enhance food security and nutrition? What are the impacts of trade rules, and intellectual property rights on the development and implementation of such practices and technologies?
- How to assess and monitor the potential impacts on FSN, whether positive or negative, of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies? Which criteria, indicators, statistics and metrics are needed?
This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.
Here I write some ideas related to the general draft scope:
Use biodiversity to put off pressure on agriculture to positively impact food security and nutrition.
Old traditional approaches combined with new knowledge to counteract new pressures such as climate change.
Strenghthen smallholder farming systems which already provide around 80% of all food produced worldwide. This can be done by fortifying agronomic performance, using new tools such as genomics to respond to specific needs that have not been resolved otherwise, undertaking participatory plant breeding in the environments in which these smallholders farm, stimulating local and regional markets where these farmers can sell surplus produce (after assurring their own family consumption).....etc.
It would be very useful to discuss and clearly define what is meant by "sustainable agriculture and food systems", these terms are much used nowadays but not necessarily mean the same to all stakeholders.
It would be interesting to give some attention to those areas that are centers of origin and/or centers of genetic diversity of crops, these are the areas which include the genetic diversity found in the native crop diversity present but also that which is represented by the wild relative counterparts of these crops. It is in these specific areas in which the domestication and diversification processess are still alive and under way, mainly thanks to the continuing efforts made by smallholder farmers through what we know as traditional agriculture.
Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on the proposed scope of the HLPE report on ‘Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition’.
We welcome that the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has decided to play an important role in advancing this important topic and we see this as an opportunity to further strengthen CFS’s contribution to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition over the next years until 2025.
I would like to provide the following overall comment:
The analysis of the contribution of agroecological and other innovative approaches to meet future food demand in a sustainable manner should give attention to food in terms of quality in line with the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), and contribute to the understanding of the protective benefits of agroecology and other approaches to increase dietary diversity and therefore generate improvements in nutrition and human health.
The HLPE report, therefore, shall address the following questions, to what extent can agroecological and other innovative approaches, improve production diversification and access to and availability of diverse nutritious foods in agriculture and food systems that enable healthy diets? I would like to underline the importance of healthy sustainable diets to shape the agriculture production and food system.
In a world that expects to welcome another 3 billion people to the middle class in a few decades, producing and eating more sustainably will be key. With reference to SDG 12, the links between production and consumption are important to sustainable food systems in order to have the richest possible food diversity on plates, sustainably sourced from the agroecological supported diversity that underpins agricultural systems. The HLPE report therefore would benefit from also including and addressing the importance of a diversified food production that enables healthy diets for food security, improved nutrition and health outcomes.
A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Unhealthy diets are among the leading causes of risk of disease and premature mortality.
Today’s human diets evolved over time, being influenced by many factors and complex interactions driven by increased urbanization, changes in lifestyle and the evolution of food systems that affect the availability and affordability of healthy foods, influence preferences, beliefs and cultural traditions, as well as geographical, environmental, social and economic factors that all interact in a complex manner and shape individual dietary patterns.
Therefore, promoting a diversified food production enabling balanced and healthy diets, is an essential base to reach the global targets of the World Health Assembly, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and the 2030 Agenda. This requires involvement across multiple sectors and stakeholders, including government, and the public and private sector.
Governments have a central role in creating a conducive environment that enables people to make the right food choice for healthy dietary practices possible. Effective actions by policy-makers include creating coherence in national policies and investment plans, including trade, food and agricultural policies, to promote a healthy diet and protect public health. This needs to include increased incentives for producers to diversify the food production in a sustainable environmental friendly way, and increase the production and retail of more diverse fresh products like fruits and vegetables, but also legumes, nuts and others that are part of a healthy diet. At national level countries are developing food based dietary guidelines that should be guiding also the food production side for more alignment with the food that is needed to support healthy dietary choices and improved nutrition for health outcomes.
The HLPE report should very clearly address the qualitative production issues of food commodities and foods under a sustainability and human health lens. In this way, the report could provide a substantial contribution to the understanding of the protective benefits of agroecological and other approaches to increase production diversity and dietary diversity and therefore supporting the access to and availability of food that enables healthy diets sustainably produced, for improved nutrition and health outcomes.
Reference is made to the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and the related recommendations in its Framework for Action. Reference is also made to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and its work programme action area 1 on Sustainable resilient food systems for healthy diets.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioral, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Published in The Lancet, September 2017.
United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition. In: Seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 15–28 September 2015. Agenda item 15 (A70/L.42; http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/L.42).
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization. Work Programme of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, 2016-2025 (http://www.who.int/nutrition/decade-of-action/workprogramme-2016to2025/en/).
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization. Second International Conference on Nutrition Conference Outcome Document: Framework for Action (http://www.fao.org/3/a-mm215e.pdf).
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization, Strengthening nutrition action. A resource guide for countries based on the policy recommendations of the second international conference on nutrition. Rome and Geneva, in press.
WHO 2017: Double-duty Actions for Nutrition. Policy brief. Geneva 2017. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/double-duty-actions-nutrition-policybrief/en/
WHO 2015: Healthy diet factsheet. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/healthydiet_factsheet/en/
IFOAM - Organics International contribution to the eConsultation for HLPE report on “Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition”.
IFOAM-OI welcomes the CFS members’ decision on requesting the HLPE to produce a report on “Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition”.
As the IAASTD Report clearly outlines, current farming and food systems are unsustainable in many aspects. These systems are responsible causing environmental pollution, soil degradation, overexploitation of water resources, biodiversity loss, weakened ecosystem services and the erosion of rural livelihoods. We urgently need to change it by a broad adoption of agroecological approaches in food systems.
IFOAM-OI appreciates that “beyond technical issues, the report will assess the importance of bottom-up and people-centered approaches, building on different forms of knowledge”. This bottom-up and people-centered approache should also be used during the drafting of the report with a large inclusion of the views of “agroecological farmers” and an inclusive process involving smallholders and rural communities.
It is important that agroecology is considered “simultaneously as a science, a set of practices and a social movement” and will be studied as an “example of holistic innovative approaches combining science and traditional knowledge systems, technologies and ecological processes, and involving all the relevant stakeholders in inclusive, participative and innovative governance mechanisms”.
However the inclusion of the too vague terms of “other innovations” on the report title could water down the report analysis and conclusions. In this sense, IFOAM-OI fully agree with the concerns expressed by Emile Frison and Miguel Altieri in their contributions and the proposal from CSM (Civil Society Mechanism) on how to asses “other innovations”.
As for the questions the HLPE report should address, we believe that an important space should be dedicated to the impact of these food systems on nutrition and people’s health (at rural and urban areas) as well as consumers’ interest in healthy foods.
Another critical issue in this report can be the definition or concept of agroecology. We think that although it is understood and interpreted in very different ways, the report should be based on the definitions coming from Miguel Altieri , the social movements and SOCLA. We suggest that the Project Team should refrain from going into long debates about the definition anyhow.
Organic agriculture that is based on agroecology as a science, can offer the Project Team the results of about 100 years of experiences, applying these principles. Organic farmers have developed all sorts of innovations during this time. They have actively had to seek new ways of innovating, because the conventional system of agricultural research and advice did not cover the needs of the their sector. The research done allows to observe the performance of organic systems on resource efficiency, ecological footprint, resilience, yield, returns, nutrition, labour, etc. and, at the same time, to identify the barriers (as lack of training or markets opportunities) to this broad adoption.
IFOAM-OI will be available to feed the report process with the result of research on organic and agroecological systems and the long experience of the organic agriculture movement.
 Agroecology is the discipline that provides the basic ecological principles for how to study, design and manage agroecosystems that are both productive and natural resource conserving, and that are also culturally sensitive, socially just and economically viable (Altieri, 1995).
 International Forum for Agroecology, Mali, February 2015 http://www.foodsovereignty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/NYELENI-2015-ENGLISH-FINAL-WEB.pdf
 Latin American Congress of Agroecology, Brasilia, October 2017 http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/cfs-hlpe/sites/cfs-hlpe/files/resources/The%...
I have worked with agroecological and diversified (ecosystem-based) farming policies for the last six years. I am also a founding faculty co-director of the Berkeley Food Institute.
Many other contributors – including Marcia Ishii-Eiteman from PANNA, IPES-Food, Ernesto Mendez, and Antonio Roman-Alcala – have made excellent points that I would endorse in full. I will just underscore several key considerations for the FAO to take into account.
As the IPES-Food submission says, agroecology represents a system redesign that is opposed to monoculture agriculture. Olivier de Schutter’s Special Rapporteur reports and the IPES-Food report on the transition of agroecology have made compelling cases for why agroecology is critical to sustainable, fair, and nutritious food production globally. It is unnecessary to repeat this work. What would be valuable would be to:
(1) update our knowledge of innovative ways of practicing agroecology;
(2) understand how system redesign of farms and farming landscapes can happen in diverse places and geographies; and
(3) identify how political, institutional, civic, and policy innovations can help expand agroecology use (noting that the barriers are already abundantly known),
among other important gaps.
I agree with PANNA’s argument that agroecology should not be pitted against other “alternative technologies” but should be analyzed on its own ground. It would be inappropriate and distracting to try to study technologies and innovations outside agroecological and ecosystem-based methods. Such methods have already been studied at length in numerous, influential reports from governments, international institutions, and scientific agencies. Agroecology richly deserves its own recognition as a vibrant, sustainable, collaborative agriculture. As Marcia Ishii-Eiteman says: “We strongly urge the HLPE to maintain a clear-eyed focus on agroecology, for its potentially one-of-a-kind report.”
If innovations and technologies are assessed, they must be evaluated within the agroecological principles that researchers such as Steve Gliessman, Ernesto Mendez, and Miguel Altieri, along with many agroecological farmer movements, have developed. Agroecology should not be reduced to technical measures of yield and profit; instead, agroecological performance can be measured in terms of complex adaptive systems, food sovereignty benefits, ability to endure challenging environmental conditions, and other holistic dimensions. Food sovereignty ought to be woven in throughout the analysis. At present, the terms of reference do not clearly include food sovereignty and food justice.
The evidence considered in the analysis must include the knowledge and experiences of smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples, and social movements. There is, in fact, not one agroecology – there are many agroecologies that reflect the diverse farming systems in existence across the world. To enable this to happen, the range of expertise relied on must be diverse: it should include many farmers, anthropologists, geographers, ecologists, public health, and other experts. It should not simply be agronomists, economists, and policy analysts. And farmer movements must be treated as epistemically equal to technical experts in their knowledge.
Moreover, the project team itself must reflect this diversity. As Maywa Montenegro says, “The committee should strive for a diverse cross-section of race, gender, ethnicity, faith, and class in assembling the project team – but should strive to particularly represent those who may be most vulnerable (because they live close to the land) and who have the most experience in agroecology (reflecting accumulated knowledge and practice).”
There should also be extensive, public, and open sharing of draft findings and analyses, with ample time for people from all over the world to contribute their feedback. The project team’s work should be reviewed by farmer movements, social/civic organizations, and independent agroecological researchers in particular. This approach will strengthen the value and credibility of the final product.
As a scholar working with scientific and technological developments, I strongly urge that the process of collecting and evaluating data for use must be transparent and free from undue influence from industry and governments. In my experience, allowing industry groups and governments committed to industrialized agriculture to shape the analysis of possible pathways and benefits tends to lead to impoverished outcomes that simply reinforce the status quo. The FAO can use this rare opportunity to open new space for appraising how to nourish agroecology worldwide.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide some comments.
In my view, Agroecology should be introduced as a holistic approach that not only include technological but also social, cultural and organizational innovations. The social aspects are needed to overcome malnutrition hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. In Latin America a huge number of project had spent enormous amount of money to develop rural area taking into account mainly technical aspects and leaving behind the socials issues. This report should address the active grass root participation of the rural and urban families as the center of the agroecology development. In conclusion, Agroecology should be addressed from a multi-stakeholder approach to develop the technical and organizational innovations and promoting the local peasant movements seeking to establish themselves to be able to contribute to the public agricultural policies.
Another important issue is the Agroecology and territories. There is a need to expand the successful experiences of agroecology into a territory level in which the multi-stakeholders can participate to scaling up the agroecology.
Finally an important the education and research are paramount to enhance Agroecology. Formal and no-formal education are key issues to develop innovations from plot to regional scales. There is a need for an interdisciplinary approach into educational programs both formal and not formal programs.
With kind regards,
M.Sc. Ecologial Agriculture. Wageningen University
PhD. Agronomy. Swedish Agricultural University (SLU)
The Network of Agroecological Agroforestry Systems of Southern Brazil (SAFAS Network) has been coordinating research syntheses and systematization of practical knowledge of diverse stakeholders across Southern Brazil. An integrated, parallel focus has been outreach with decision makers ranging across scales from local land managers, through project technicians and coordinators to fiscal staff and public policy makers at municipal, state and federal levels.
Here we present comments that synthesize the experiences of these efforts of systematization that are directly relevant for the scope, project team, evidence, transparency, as well as principles and procedures of the HLPE report to the CFS.
Agroecology has outstanding potential to simultaneously and drastically reduce environmental and socioeconomic degradation associated with increases in productivity of single commodities in industrial monocultures of conventional farming, including for instance:
1) Terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity loss;
2) Contamination of soil, water and food with toxic pesticides;
3) Loss of fertilizer nutrients resulting in eutrophication and nitrous oxide emissions;
4) Floods and droughts;
5) Direct GHG emissions and fossil energy dependency driving agricultural C debt;
6) Loss of soil productive potential associated with the degradation of soil biological, chemical and physical fertility, soil erosion and desertification;
7) Loss of agrobiodiversity and access to forest resources critical for food sovereignty, fuelwood, timber, medicinal products, etc;
8) Erosion of food, nutritional and health sovereignty at household, regional, national and international scales;
9) Displacement of smallholder farmers and indigenous communities with devastating socioeconomic and sociocultural impacts;
10) Adverse impacts on gender, intergenerational and intercultural justice;
11) Market concentration undermining democratic institutions and their pivotal role in food sovereignty and ecosystem stewardship.
Several technologies and innovations have been promoted with massive public and private investment in public relations, yet have potential to mitigate single or only a few of these environmental and socioeconomic costs, such as sustainable intensification, no-till agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, precision agriculture, etc. These technological fixes that maximize the gain in isolated functions ignore important social-ecological tradeoffs. Thus, such narrow-scoped technological fixes for single problems may exacerbate others, accentuating socioecological tradeoffs, frequently overcompensating single environmental gains by largely unevaluated collateral social and ecological damages.
By contrast, agroecology has tremendous and still largely untapped potential to simultaneously generate a portfolio of regulating ecosystem services to simultaneously mitigate the range of aforementioned processes of degradation, while amplifying and maintaining in the long run a diverse range of provisioning ecosystem services from the same land management units. Greater attention should be paid to the largely overlooked highly integrative agroecological approaches such as successional agroforestry, syntropic agriculture, agroecological animal husbandry, community supported agriculture, (peri-) urban agroecology, multi-stakeholder network-based participatory organic guarantee systems, short-circuit cooperative food commercialization schemes, all of which consistently outperform technological fixes in their social-ecological multifunctionality at low economic, social and environmental cost.
This way, the HLPE report could contribute in remarkable ways to substantially approach several of the Sustainable Development Goals, provided that agroecology is engaged with its full transdisciplinary scope and participatory, social movement base.
1) The Scope of the report should adopt a transdisciplinary and participatory agroecological perspective that fully engages with the scientific and local knowledge, social movement and practical dimensions of agroecology. Specific technologies and innovations must be considered with regard to their social-ecological multifunctionality within agroecological systems and principles.
2) The Project Team should include scientists with a demonstrated track record of crossing disciplinary lines and incorporating the complexity of agrifood systems in their analyses. The team should also include with an active voice non-scientist practitioners that include organized smallholder farmers, as well as social movements that have been actively developing and scaling out agroecology.
3) The report should be mindful of what it considers Evidence, avoiding marketing and manipulative materials from corporate actors and their advocates. In addition, practical knowledge and experience from farmers and broad-based social movements should be included in addition to scientific evidence.
4) Transparency at all stages and levels of this process is essential, and needs to involve rigorous disclosure conflicts of interest. It will be necessary for the FAO to share progress consistently and in a timely manner.
5) This process should move forward with agreed upon Principles & Procedures determining governance and transparency over the project team's work, including total transparency of the review process, representation of differing points of view among authors, as well as "conflict resolution" processes.
November 30th, 2017
Ilyas Siddique, PhD
· Coordinator of the Network of Agroecological Agroforestry of Southern Brazil (Rede SAFAS)
· Professor of Agroecosystems, Dept. of Crop Science; Center of Agrarian Sciences; Federal University of Santa Catarina
· Permanent Faculty of the Postgraduate Programs in Agroecosystems and Plant Genetic Resources
Thank you for the opportunity to comment of the scope of the upcoming HLPE study on "Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition".
Attached please find a short submission from the Global Dairy Platform.
Executive Director, Global Dairy Platform
Previously the negative impacts of industrial agriculture were masked and only related to water pollution, but in recent years, this has moved from the aquatic environments right to the dooor-step of the ordinary person, most of all women and children. Excessive use of chemicals and pesticides in food systems has undoubtedly brought along with it 'hidden' challenges in both health and nutrition among many innocent receipients. It is my belief that agroecology deserves as much attention as that is being afforded to climate change. Funding should be availed to research and extension to make this happen. A common understanding of the principles of agroecology need to be reached and operationalized to address current controversies around the concept.
Maria de Fatima Fajardo Archanjo Sampaio
In Brasilia - DF, inspired by the theme: "Agroecology in the Transformation of Agro-Food Systems in Latin America: Memories, Knowledge and Pathways to Well-Being", on September 12-15, 2017, during the VI Latin American Congress of Agroecology , the X Brazilian Congress of Agroecology and the Fifth Seminar of the Federal District and surroundings, we sow the CERRADO`s AGROECOLOGICAL LETTER.
This letter summarizes our discussions and expressions of RESISTANCE and FIGHT in the agroecological field and serves as an alert to society for the serious threats that today compromise the guarantee of food sovereignty and security and the other rights of humanity, other living beings and common goods , including land, water and biodiversity, and thus compromise well-being. In this beautiful process, we were able to gather more than 5,000 people, expressing the diversity of our identities and knowledge through the active and creative participation of 25 countries and all Brazilian states, including researchers and researchers; students; educators and educators; extension technicians and technicians, peasants, family farmers and farmers, indigenous peoples; quilombolas; peoples and communities; popular artists; public managers and other civil society identities linked to the theme of agroecology and the struggle and construction of the well-being.
This congress expressed the richness of agroecology also in the methodological field. A rich menu of participatory methodologies was used. The 13 generating themes were developed in several formats that demonstrate the vitality and dynamism of the construction and dissemination of agroecological knowledge. For the first time, popular stories on talk wheels were presented by the protagonists of the experiments; Tables of dialogues were used for the reports of technical experiences; the "tapiri de saberes" was consolidated, a methodology used for the presentation of posters in a dialogical way; the "river of time", elaborated collectively, illustrated the memory of Agroecology over the decades, illustrated by the art of graphic facilitation, which contributed to honor the motto of the congress and highlighted the importance of women and men in the historical construction of agroecology; the "ways of knowing" have broadened the dialogue with society; the girls brought a debate about the importance of the collective responsibility of care with the children reaffirming that this is not an obligation only of the women and; the collaborative report allowed a process of harvesting and systematizing information in real time, integrating the diversity of perspectives and perspectives of all those involved with the congress. The plurality of agroecology was revealed in 2,227 works, presented and debated in the most diverse forms, languages and perspectives.
The beauty and diversity of the seed trade fair, the representation of biomes at the socio - biodiversity fair, the permanent presence of the artistic and pedagogical facilities, the agroecological feeding of different origins, especially the products of the Cerrado, were spaces that enriched and favored cultural and material exchanges at the event. In addition to what was foreseen, several meetings took place in this great web of conversations and interactions of construction of agroecological knowledge, recognition of the various subjects and strengthening of practices of care, respect and friendship.
This willingness to dialogue and collective construction in Congress opposes the political moment we are living in Brazil and much of Latin America with clear threats to democracies and public policies hard won by the strength of social movements and civil society organizations. We repudiate the monopoly of the media in the hands of the great corporations and the Brazilian elites and the criminalization of the alternative and popular media. We denounce the escalation of violence in the countryside, especially in the last year, where levels of violence of all natures have increased dramatically. Peasant, indigenous, quilombola leaders and the traditional peoples and communities, defenders of agroecology have been persecuted and killed. Sexist violence joins the reactionary movements, increasing the cases of murder of women leaders and trying to imprison them again in domestic spaces. Communities are being surrounded and threatened by agribusiness and agribusiness capital. We denounce the great projects of the capital and the agribusiness that has been driving the peoples of the countryside, the waters and the forests, destroying the agroecological, peasant and life preservation spaces. Among these processes we reinforce our repudiation and concern with the region of MATOPIBA and the extinction of the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (RENCA) in the Amazon, which consummate will represent a true extermination of the peasant, indigenous, quilombola and peoples and communities tradditionalWord created from an acronym of the initials of the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia. This area is of interest to Agribusiness to expand the agricultural frontier, because it is flat and abundant in water, but with a biological diversity and threatened cultures and ways of life. For more information: http://www.epsjv.fiocruz.br/noticias/reportagem/matopiba-na-fronteira-en... regions. Therefore, we reaffirm that WITHOUT DEMOCRACY IS NO AGROECOLOGY.
In the same way, it is impossible to advance in the construction of agroecology, without reflecting on the agrarian question in Brazil, where land and territory are fundamental for the materialization of the agroecological transition process. Therefore, we defend the struggle for a popular Agrarian Reform and the defense of the territories of the rural, water and forest peoples. We reject the definitive titling policy proposed by the current government, which has subordinated rural settlements to the dictates of the national and international market of land purchases. We reject any attempt to reduce the areas of sustainable use of natural goods, which are largely under the protection of traditional peoples and communities. We demand the immediate demarcation of all areas of these peoples and we are vehemently opposed to the Temporary Framework. Without agrarian reform and respect for the territories of indigenous peoples, quilombolas and traditional communities there is no agroecology.
The struggle in defense of urban agriculture provokes us to new debates and the widening of the gaze on the role of cities in the reproduction of life and agroecological practices. Urban agriculture is understood as a strategy to guarantee food and nutritional security, the right to the city, the promotion of sustainability in cities and the resilience of territories to climate change. Urban agriculture is recognized as an important tool to break with the rural-urban dichotomy, finding in the flows, processes and dynamics between rural and urban a space of struggle and resistance. Urban agriculture is the struggle and resistance of Agroecology in cities.
In relation to socio-biodiversity, we realize that the biological, social and cultural diversity of agroecosystems is a fundamental component for the promotion of agroecology and the guarantee of food and nutritional sovereignty and security. We reaffirm the centrality of peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, quilombolas and traditional rural, forest and water communities and communities in the generation, conservation and management of socio-biodiversity. We also identified a series of pressures and constraints on the right to free use of socio-biodiversity involving mechanisms for the protection of intellectual property, financialization of nature, promotion of large monocultures, private appropriation of biological diversity and a series of actions that compromise the integrity of territories and the vitality of food crops. We highlight here the threats related to attempts to make Brazil a signatory of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants Convention (UPOV), signed in 1991, and to include creole seeds in the National Seed and Seed Registry. We reject the emptying of public purchases of creole seeds and non-hybrid varieties promoted through the Food Acquisition Program (PAA). We affirm the need to ensure the shared management and social control of public germplasm banks, with the participation of representative organizations of peasants and peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, quilombolas and traditional peoples and communities. Likewise, we require a reassessment of decisions of CTNBio by a group of independent scientists, as well as periodic reassessments by ANVISA of all agrochemicals in use in the country. We also demand analysis of the damage that transgenics and agrochemicals are causing, as well as the accountability of those who have contributed to it. We want to introduce labeling and regulations that guide the consumer, the presence of GMOs in food, and the end of the use of public resources to stimulate forms of production and technologies that threaten human and environmental health. We demand that the aerial spraying of pesticides be banned in Brazil, and that no form of use of agrochemicals banned in other countries is allowed. We want our water without poisons. We demand that all pesticides whose presence in human drinking water are not being monitored be removed from the market. In view of the threats of flexibilization of the Agrochemicals Law, we call for the archiving of the PL of the Poison (6299/2002) and for the approval of the National Policy for the Reduction of Agrochemicals (PNARA). STOP the ARRANGEMENTS OF AGROCHEMICALS, BASED ON TECHNOLOGIES AND MECHANISMS THAT COMMIT THE NETWORK OF LIFE AND THE SOCIABILITY OF THE PEOPLE WHO HOST US SO TERRITORY.
We reaffirm our willingness to fight agrifood empires, which seek to control the production, distribution and commercialization of food for the purpose of profit. We acknowledge and reaffirm the centrality of family and peasant agriculture to the conquest of food sovereignty, which, while controlling only one quarter of the world's land, produce more than 50 percent of the food consumed in the countryside and in the cities. In Brazil, official data indicate that more than 70% of the food produced in the field originates in the family units that are, therefore, 4 as the main subjects of the country's food security and sovereignty. We denounce the neoliberal government policy that is destroying public policies, such as the PAA and the National School Feeding Program (PNAE), which are fundamental for the strengthening of ecologically based agri-food systems based on the production, distribution and fair trade of food for the rural and urban populations, especially children, young people and women who live to a large extent in situations of hunger and food insecurity. We recognize, therefore, the protagonism of the peasantry and its social movements as a constituent political subject of agroecology and processes of food sovereignty that contribute significantly to a national project of sustainable production of healthy foods.
We reaffirm that "WITHOUT FEMINISM THERE IS NO AGROECOLOGY", because we understand feminism as a theoretical reference and the basis for a transformative political action based on the experiences of women. We understand that the fight against all forms of oppression and violence against women and the questioning of the sexual division of labor must be structuring elements of the systemic approach of agroecology as science, movement and practice. Scientific and academic institutions, civil society organizations, social movements and the State need to recognize and make visible the practices of women in the countryside, water, forests and cities and youth, traditional peoples and communities as the subjects that they construct agroecology daily from their territories. We fight for a critical science, decolonized, despatriarcal, anticapitalist, antiracracista, antilesbofóbica, antihomofóbica committed to the transformation of the society and the construction of new paradigms. It is essential to recognize the transformative potential and the engagement of youth in agroecology in different rural and urban contexts, both formal and non-formal, and to favor the process of youth autonomy in different dimensions, in addition to technical production. We reaffirm the multidimensionality of agroecological knowledge that emerge from an ecology of knowledge and that seeks to break with the artificial divisions established between scientific disciplines and between scientific knowledge and popular knowledge. Agroecology is built in different places by a wide diversity of actors, inserting itself in an emancipatory project that seeks to transform the relations of human beings between themselves and with nature. Public funding to the Agroecology Studies Centers (NEAs), the institutionalization of Embrapa's Agroecology Reference Framework, support for farmer-to-farmer exchange programs and the development of social technologies represent important achievements in this movement to construct new forms production and socialization of knowledge. At the same time, we reject the current threat, scrapping and dismantling of public research and teaching institutions, such as EMBRAPA, State Research Organizations, Universities and Federal Institutes. We denounce and repudiate the attack on the autonomy of public educational institutions. We reaffirm the importance of these institutions as public instruments for the promotion of a science and technology engaged, critical and guided by principles of sustainability and social justice. We also reject the cuts in resources and the dismantling of the Brazilian system of technical assistance and rural extension. At the same time we affirm the inextricable linkage between teaching, research and the extension and protagonism of the social actors of the field and social movements in the construction of knowledge. WITHOUT CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE POLICIES THERE IS NO AGROECOLOGY.
We are convinced that education in agroecology has its centrality in the horizontal and permanent dialogue between the educational institutions and the real subjects, already nominated in this letter, but historically silenced. We strongly emphasize the essential role of our rural and city youth. Our walks, caravans and various spaces of struggle, resistance and learning have been built and consolidated through Public Policies, of character (PRONERA), the NEAs, the NEA Networks, the Technological Vocational Centers (CVTs) and several formal courses in agroecology and other fields of knowledge. Such policies connect teaching and research institutions and innumerable autonomous initiatives of the social movements of the countryside in their territories. Even with very low financial contributions, the ability of NEAs to promote effective linkage between extension, teaching and research is one of the success marks of this Policy, expressed in rich experiences, whether in numbers or in the sense of building a truly citizen education. In this sense, we repudiate the disregard for Public calls aimed at supporting the hundreds of NEAs, RNEAs and CVTs, culminating in the non-payment of the scholarship holders of some calls. We urgently require the permanent funding of these spaces for the promotion of agroecology, as well as the immediate opening of a Call for the maintenance of RNEAs and for the support to the NEAs of research institutions. Finally, we understand that education in agroecology and rural education share agroecological principles and therefore we do not accept the criminal process of closing the countryside schools and cutting PRONERA's resources, since EDUCATION IS RIGHT OUR DUTY OF OUR STATE! WITHOUT EDUCATION THERE IS NO AGROECOLOGY!
Solidarity and cooperation are fundamental characteristics for human development and should, in the understanding of agroecology, be extended to all living beings in a respectful and multi-generational way. Ethical and moral values require broad visions, taking into account the networks that sustain life and the forms of diversity that offer resilience to these networks. In defense of life, we demand the immediate interruption of paths that threaten solidarity and cooperation. We do not accept the disfigurements that are being imposed on the Citizen Constitution. The products of science dominated by selfish interests must lose the stimulus offered by credit and public policy. The monitoring of its use should be expanded. The damages caused must be reimbursed and their authors must be punished. We demand that public resources be directed to the National Policy on Agroecology and Organic Production (PNAPO) in all its dimensions. We reaffirm the idea that Agroecology is science, practice and movement and that the alliance between academic scientific field and social movements is necessary, the rural communities and the diversity of the identities of the subjects of the countryside, water and forests: this is the essence of the political construction of agroecology. We are all and all "lint that are embedded in a line, that is in a cord, that is in a network, that is strong and is in movement" as the Statement of Raimundo Rego, an agroecological peasant, member of the Agroecology Study Center - Cajuí, State University of Piauí. Brasília, September 15 of 2017.2
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Find attached herewith sketch of scope and building blocks of the study 'Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition' as desired.
M.Sc. (Hons.) Agri. Economics (UAF)
Ph.D. Economics (PMAS-AAUR)