The potential of agroecology to build climate-resilient livelihoods and food systems

About the study

The study highlights the links between agroecology and climate change, by providing evidence on the technical (i.e. ecological and socio-economic) and policy potential of agroecology to build resilient food systems. The report aims to answer the following question:

How can agroecology foster climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience through practices and policies?

Inspired by the idea that transformation will only happen through a coordinated approach among all levels, this study aims to combine evidence from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives.

Given the sound knowledge base, fostering agroecology to build resilience should be recognized as a viable climate change adaptation strategy.

Full Report

Executive Summary

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.

The main findings are also summarised in the following video:

Lead authors:

Fabio Leippert, Maryline Darmaun, Martial Bernoux, Molefi Mpheshea

Chapter authors:

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