The potential of agroecology to hedge against climate change

and build resilient and sustainable livelihoods and food systems

The current knowledge base is robust enough to support agroecology as an efficient climate change adaptation strategy

About the study
The study on “The potential of agroecology to hedge against climate change and build resilient and sustainable livelihoods and food systems” was designed as a multi-stakeholder collaboration between research institutions (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture – FIBL, Institut Senegalais de Recherches Agricoles-ISRA), civil society organizations (Biovision – Foundation for ecological development, Enda Pronat, Institute for Culture and Ecology – Institute for culture and ecology-ICE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  

To provide evidence on the role of agroecology in strengthening climate change resilience, four different analysis were carried out, focusing on: 

  1. The international policy arenas, in particular in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) processes;
  2. Peer-reviewed studies on agroecology and climate change through a meta-analysis; 
  3. Two case studies in Kenya and Senegal: 
  • from a policy potential point of view, assessing institutional frameworks in terms of the potential to incorporate agroecology to hedge against climate change; and
  • from a technical potential point of view, through farm-community-level comparative analysis on resilience

Developed from March 2019 to December 2019 through a co-leadership of Biovision and FAO, the working document will be launched in early 2020.

 Please keep me informed about the final results of the study:

Key insights/findings:

  • Solid evidence demonstrates that agroecology increases resilience, especially by strengthening a) ecological principles, in particular biodiversity, overall diversity and healthy soils (Meta-analysis & case studies results); and b) social aspects, in particular co-creation and sharing of knowledge and building on traditions (case study results).


  • The interdisciplinary and systemic nature of agroecology is key for its true transformational power but challenging, both for research and policy processes: the majority of existing scientific evidence and current policy processes focus only on the productive dimension, mostly with only sectorial view on crop production.


  • Agroecology is proposed as one of the approaches to hedge against climate change by countries, with 12.5 percent of the national determined contributions (NDCs) mentioning Agroecology. Also in the UNFCCC related processes, agroecology is strongly supported by the findings and recommendations of the 2019 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Land and the 2019 CFS High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) report.

Lead authors:

Maryline Darmaun, Fabio Leippert, Martial Bernoux

Chapter authors:

Adrian Muller, Matthias Geck, Martin Herren, Wambui Irungu, Céline Termote, 
Ibrahima Sylla, Molefi Mpheshea, Mary Nyasimi, Jean Michel Sene, Mamadou Sow


Dissemination event during COP25 organized by Biovision: 




Fabio Leippert,
Program Manager