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Agroecology

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News and Opinion

Coverage of agroecology since July 19, 2020.

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COP26: Key outcomes for food, forests, land use and nature in Glasgow

"...Food systems – despite the growing recognition of their role as both a source of and solution to climate change – were not so prominently featured on the agenda.  ..."

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Mexico's farm sector is already lagging as GM crop ban looms

"...Morales noted that the government’s actions are motivated by ideology, rather than science, as it takes an official posture that seeks to position agroecology as the main food production system in the country:..."

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Climate Resilience, Past and Present: Rural Communities and Food Systems

"...Thanks to the observations of farmers and other food-producing folks, and to the work of climate scientists, we know that such variable weather and its impacts on agriculture and food production are consequences of human-created, or anthropogenic, climate change. For decades, despite insidious efforts to suppress the overwhelming scientific consensus on human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and their impacts on the earth’s systems, it has been clear that changing ecological realities due to climate change have the potential to severely disrupt the systems that provide humanity with sustenance, from industrial-scale grain cultivation to small family farms to fisheries to my local raspberry crop.  ..."

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Winners and losers in Mexico's GM corn ban

"...Mexico is a top importer of corn due to high domestic demand for the grain, which is the foundation of both the food chain and Mexican cuisine. It is already clear that domestic producers, who are also banned from using GM seeds, will be unable to satisfy the demand for corn. So, the decree underscores the urgency of sourcing non-GM corn to avoid a social, economic and food crisis..."

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4 reasons to care about the UN Food Systems Summit

"...The Alliance for Science is hosting this dialogue because we believe that resilient, equitable, innovative and sustainable food systems are foundational to better education, good health and economic development. We also believe that agricultural technologies can help the world address a host of sustainable development challenges by breeding crops with higher yields, reduced needs for fertilizer, better nutrition, resilience to climate shocks and resistance to insect pests. Modern biotechnology is an innovative, increasingly accessible tool that can help us achieve SDGs quickly and safely, while co-existing with other technologies and farming methods, such as digitalization and agroecology..."

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Is conservation agriculture a 'climate smart' solution for African farmers?

"...Farmer Elizabeth Mpofu does not feel that the CA concept is a solution to food sovereignty or food security. As general coordinator of the La Via Campesina movement, which advocates for family-farm-based sustainable agriculture, she advocates for agroecology, a farming method that applies ecological and social concepts to managing food and agriculture systems by optimizing relationships between plants, animals, people and the environment..."

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Organic farming could feed Europe by 2050

"...Food has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century. According to a study carried out by CNRS scientists1, an organic, sustainable, biodiversity-friendly agro-food system, could be implemented in Europe and would allow a balanced coexistence between agriculture and the environment. The scenario proposed is based on three levers..."

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What is sustainable agriculture? ECO Canada

"...Some problematic areas that are primed for improvement include greenhouse gases (GHGs) from food waste decomposition, the effects of fertilizer and pesticide use on wildlife and surrounding areas, the eutrophication (growth of algae in water sources leading to the eventual die-off of all fish and plants) and monoculture agriculture (where one crop is grown on the land at a time) which can lead to land degradation making the land unsuitable for further farming..."

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lush forest

"...Dominik Schwab, who produced these results as part of his master's thesis, emphasises: "If rich vegetation with numerous trees is encouraged or restored in the vanilla plantations, it can contribute to nature conservation outside the forests and also promote much better pest control. " Co-author and PhD student Annemarie Wurz adds: "Such measures would not reduce the yield, as studies in coffee and cacao agroforestry showed. " Professor Teja Tscharntke, head of Agroecology at the University of Göttingen and co-author of the study, says: "The study does not only focus on diversity, but also on an important ecological function of the species involved..."

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Guelph academics’ vision includes more agricultural diversity

"...Two academics from the University of Guelph have made it to the semi-finals in a global competition for a $2-million Food System Vision Prize. Their idea calls for changing agriculture across Southwestern Ontario to shift from heavy reliance on large-scale corn, soybean and wheat production to more small-scale and diverse crop production using less commercial fertilizer and pesticides. They envision “truly integrative agricultural practices” by 2050, including sharing of land use to increase biodiversity and stronger governmental supports for small-scale agricultural enterprises..."

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Agricultural technology key to protecting nature and preventing pandemics 

"...The call comes as a new report  by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) warns that more zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 will hit the world in the years ahead if people continue to destroy natural environments through agriculture, urbanization and mining..."

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Brown and orange frog on larger leaf

"...Reversing the trend in species decline is essential for the benefit of both people and the planet, but it will require coordinated actions and sustainable agriculture. Intensive farming relying on excessive pesticides and fertiliser has negative effects on biodiversity. The authors argue that farming landscapes can provide habitats for biodiversity, promote connectivity between protected areas and increase species' ability to respond to environmental threats..."

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Recommended Reading

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about agroecology.

A small farm future: The case for a society of local economies, with Chris Smaje

"...#smallfarmfuture #smallholdfarms #localag #agroecology #organic #ecology #climate #local #permaculture #perrenials #ecological economy #globalhectare ..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about agroecology relevant to the latest news.

The impacts of agricultural and urban land-use changes on plant and bird biodiversity in Costa Rica (1986?2014)

"...Our results confirm that deforestation has been reversed and most of the biodiversity considered is housed in forestland, but also that the expansion of export monocultures and urban sprawl have fragmented and isolated these tropical forests..."

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Crop diversification and saline water irrigation as potential strategies to save freshwater resources and reclamation of margin

"...Crop diversification systems involving drought and salt-tolerant crops are likely to be the key to future agricultural and economic growth in the regions where salt-affected soils exist and/or saline aquifers are pumped for irrigation..."

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On the unequal coexistence of agrifood systems in Brazil

"...We show how the project for food sovereignty brought together multiple social movements, including a core movement advocating agroecology, and how family farming was recognized as a key pillar within Brazil?s national food security policy..."

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Agroecology and nutritional health: A comparison of agroecological farmers and their neighbors in the Ecuadorian highlands

"...Agroecology-based famers' networks may thus hold promise for integrating nutritional health priorities into sustainable food systems..."

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Introduction

"...In this introductory chapter, we introduce agroecology as an urgent alternative paradigm for food and farming in a time of growing ecological, economic and social crises..."

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“Without Food there is No Resistance”: The impact of the Zapatista conflict on agrobiodiversity and seed sovereignty in Chia

"...Two research questions guide this paper: (1) What has been the impact of the conflict on communities’ subsistence agriculture and seed sovereignty? and (2) To what extent has the local seed sovereignty movement—an outgrowth of the Zapatista conflict—influenced agrobiodiversity conservation? Our findings suggest that the conflict has led to the implementation of grassroots agroecology and food and seed sovereignty projects that could ultimately strengthen agrobiodiversity in the communities under the influence of the Zapatista movement..."

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Agroecology landscapes

"...Objectives We review the role of landscape ecology to understand and promote biodiversity, pest regulation and crop pollination for the designing of ?agroecology landscapes?..."

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Sustainability transitions in the context of pandemic: an introduction to the focused issue on social innovation and systemic i

"...For society to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the agri-food industry needs a substantial sustainability transition toward food systems capable of delivering greater volumes of nutritious food, while simultaneously lowering the environmental footprint..."

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Domain A: Rights and Access to Nature?Land, Water, Seeds and Biodiversity

"...We review how the access and control over water, ecosystem, cultivated biodiversity, seeds, breeds and soil amongst other aspects of nature enable agroecology..."

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Challenging agroecology through the characterization of farming practices’ diversity in Mediterranean irrigated areas

"...The study showed that some agroecology-compatible TMRs coexisted with conventional TMRs for chili-pepper-based cropping systems..."

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Evaluating woody species composition and regeneration in controlled and free grazing systems for scaling up agroforestry in the

"...Our findings revealed that the scaling up of woody species in agroforestry requires not only CG and favorable agroecology but also matching of agroforestry options with household and farmland characteristics..."

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Reviewing the interface of bioeconomy and ecosystem service research

"...The discussion highlights gaps in the current research on the topic and argues for communication between the ecosystem services and bioeconomy communities to forward both research areas in the context of sustainability science..."

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