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  • Growing transnational commitment toward a global agroecological transformation

Growing transnational commitment toward a global agroecological transformation

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aecoalition

Members of the Agroecology Coalition unite to discuss progress and set priorities for the future

As the year is drawing to a close, the Agroecology Coalition held its third all-members meeting in early December, to give an update on the latest developments within the Secretariat as well as set tangible objectives for 2023 and beyond.

Having emerged from the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in September 2021, the Agroecology Coalition is oftentimes defined as a ‘coalition of the willing’. Participation in this meeting confirmed that member countries and organisations are eager to speed up action to make agroecology widespread around the world. To date, over 44 countries and 88 organisations have joined the Coalition – including the commissions of three regional bodies (the African Union, the European Union and ECOWAS) and key UN bodies, civil society, and research and regional farmers organisations. Importantly, since April this year, the Coalition experienced a two-fold increase in membership – both for its country and organisational members – which is a clear sign that agroecology is gaining momentum globally.

For instance, the recent Coalition’s all-members meeting – which was attended by 23 country representatives, 51 organisational delegates, and eight Secretariat members – provided some interesting membership-related statistics:

  • When it comes to country members, 44% are from Africa; 28% from Europe; 14% from Asia, and 14% from the Americas.
  • As for the organisational members, most also represent the African continent as well as the NGO sector – with 43% coming from the Global South; 27% from the Global North, and 30% representative of international organisations with a global mandate.

Perhaps one of the key re-occurring themes throughout the meeting was the positive correlation – as well as importance – between biodiversity conservation and agroecology. In his opening remarks, Amadou Diallo, the focal point for Senegal who also represents African countries in the Coalition’s Steering group, highlighted how several recent events (such as the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical instabilities and regional conflicts) have contributed to a renewed focus on the sustainability of food production, as well as on agroecological solutions, on a global scale.

The meeting also provided an overview of the Coalition’s working groups, including their respective objectives and the latest work undertaken by each. The five working groups include:

A key part of the meeting included a 45-minute discussion in smaller break-out sessions, during which Agroecology Coalition members discussed the benefits of being part of the Coalition, priorities for next year, as well as the members’ role in delivering agroecology-related messaging and boosting its prominence at international events and conferences, such as the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, the UN Food Systems Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties, and others.

The illustration below – live sketched during the all-members meeting – provides a visual summary of the event:

The Agroecology Coalition’s Secretariat has been provided by the Agroecology TPP hosted by CIFOR-ICRAF, who has nurtured the Coalition since its inception. The Secretariat of the Coalition, responsible to its now established Steering Committee, will be hosted by Bioversity International in Rome from early in 2023.

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  • How to scale agroecology - Special webinar marking the 10th anniversary of Access Agriculture

How to scale agroecology – Special webinar marking the 10th anniversary of Access Agriculture

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As part of its 10th anniversary celebration this year, Access Agriculture is organising a webinar on “How to scale agroecology” on 25 October 2022, in partnership with the Agroecology Coalition.

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  • Access Agriculture receives 2022 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award

Access Agriculture receives 2022 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award

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Levania Daria

On 7 June 2022, Access Agriculture – one of the Communications and Advocacy Working Group’s members of the Coalition – received the 2022 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award in the category of Community Engagement Innovation in Toronto, Canada.

The Award recognises global excellence in food innovation and community impact and is adjudicated by a group of internationally respected scientists and community activists. The Award panel highlighted that Access Agriculture was selected for its model, outreach, and delivery of training videos in local languages, along with the engagement created at the community level, all of which contributes to healthier and more resilient food systems.

You can read more here.

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  • Spanish-language presentation about the Agroecology Coalition

Spanish-language presentation about the Agroecology Coalition

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Levania Daria

Recently, the Agroecology Coalition’s Interim Coordinator – Emile Frison of IPES-Food – gave a detailed presentation about the Coalition and its importance – in Spanish.

Directed at the country representatives of REAF (Reunión Especializada de Agricultura Familiar del MERCOSUR REAF), the below slides provide a summary of what the Coalition is all about and why should organizations join.

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  • Agroecology: from uniformity to diversity

Agroecology: from uniformity to diversity

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Levania Daria

Why agroecology can be a powerful lever for solving some of the major challenges of our time, all the while providing sustainable solutions to the issues of food security and nutrition,
the fight against poverty and social inequalities, the adaptation to climate change, and the
preservation of biodiversity and natural resources?

Recently, Emile Frison – the Agroecology Colaition’s Interim Coordinator and the member of IPES-Food – gave a presentation (in French) on the positive effects of the agroecological principles on the environment, communities, and society at large.

You can find the presentation slides below.

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  • Key takeaways from the Regional Dialogue on Climate Resilient Food Systems in Africa

Key takeaways from the Regional Dialogue on Climate Resilient Food Systems in Africa

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Levania Daria

On 12 April, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WFF), Biovision and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), co-organized a virtual dialogue for the African region, with the aim to showcase practical and scientific evidence in line with agroecological principles, building on the outcomes of COP26 KJWA negotiations and in preparation for COP27.

In the first part of the dialogue, different speakers from academia, government and civil society shared their perspective on agriculture and food as well as the potential of agroecology to tackle climate change – including Emile Frison, the Agroecology Coalition’s Interim Coordinator and the member of IPES-Food.

In particular, Emile talked about the potential of agroecology and its principles to combine traditional knowledge and modern science to transform food systems according to their local and cultural circumstances. He emphasized that agroecology is climate-smart but goes much further than that. He also mentioned the FAO programme to mainstream agroecological practices in West Africa and invited participants to join the Agroecology Coalition that came out of the UN Food Systems Summit and which already counts over 32 member countries and 54+ organizations.

The subsequent open discussion circled mainly around the question of whether specific approaches – such as agroecology – can and should be explicitly mentioned in negotiated texts. While there is scepticism from some countries to name specific ‘approaches’, many statements pointed to the fact that agroecology is more than just another ‘approach’ – it is a broader set of guiding principles that must guide systemic action to ensure a fair and truly sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems.

We invite you to watch the recording of the session below.

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  • All eyes on agroecology at the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Dialogue on Climate-Resilient Agri-Food Systems

All eyes on agroecology at the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Dialogue on Climate-Resilient Agri-Food Systems

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Levania Daria

Last month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Biovision have co-organized the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Dialogue on Climate-Resilient Agri-Food Systems, held on 15 March.

The event was attended by Emile Frison, the Agroecology Coalition’s Interim Coordinator and the member of IPES-Food, Rachel Bezner-Kerr from Cornell University, Héctor Manuel Robles Berlanga of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico, and other international experts.

Key discussion points included the need to drive investments – currently going to the conventional model of agriculture, such as subsidies supporting fertilizers – to agroecological approaches, the urgency in bringing agroecology to international debates, and incorporating agroecological principles in international agreements – such as the NDCs – and negotiations.

Emile Frison from the Agroecology Coalition spoke about the increasing global evidence on the potential of agroecology to tackle multiple challenges, with increased productivity, net income and positive impact on biodiversity and landscapes. He also touched on the Agroecology Coalition as a vehicle to join forces and bring the much-needed paradigm shift.

In case you missed it, you can watch the recording of the event at your convenience via this link.

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  • We are all Atlas: Emile Frison from Agroecology Coalition speaks at UNEA 5 side event

We are all Atlas: Emile Frison from Agroecology Coalition speaks at UNEA 5 side event

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Levania Daria

This past 1 March, Denmark – as the current chair of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership (ADP) – hosted a flagship side event at the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly – or UNEA 5 – titled “We are all Atlas: sharing best practices for collaboration on sustainable deforestation-free, agricultural commodity production and consumption.”

Though the event was mostly digital, with speakers connecting from all over the world online, Lea Wermelin, Denmark’s Minister of Environment, and Bérangère Abba, France’s Secretary of State, were both present at the UN headquarters in Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, where UNEA 5 took place from 28 February to 2 March 2022.

We are all Atlas aimed to share lessons and discuss challenges regarding collaboration between governments, the private sector, civil society and indigenous people organisations as well as build momentum for inclusive action on sustainable development.

The topic of agroecology has also been discussed. As one of the speakers, Emile Frison, Interim Coordinator at the Coalition for Food System’s Transformation through Agroecology (Agroecology Coalition) and an expert on agricultural biodiversity at IPES-Food, explained why a holistic – or system’s – approach is necessary to tackle the current challenges we face, by saying that:

Fighting deforestation in major commodity chains is an important step forward, but it is insufficient to resolve multiple crises we face. A deep transformation of our food and agricultural systems is needed to comprehensively tackle deforestation and a range of interrelated challenges. This transformation should be based on the 13 principles of agroecology, allowing us to reach the Sustainable Development Goals in a holistic manner and address economic, environmental, climate, nutrition and social objectives at the same time.”

The Agroecology Coalition’s vision entails an inclusive food system based on the principles of agroecology. The Coalition has emerged from the UN Food Systems Summit in September of last year, and already has over 30 countries and 40+ organizations, civil society and research institutions, committed to making agroecological transitions a widespread reality. 

You can watch We are all Atlas in the video below. You can also read the full speech of Emile Frison in the below attachment. 


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