FAO Regional Symposia on Agroecology

  • 24th November 2016
  • by secretary
November 2016. 34 pages
A summary of the contributions and outcomes of the regional symposia is presented here in a brief format for decision-makers. The four central themes running through each seminar are reflected in the organization of this document: agroecology for food and nutrition security (section 2), agroecology and natural resources in a changing climate (section 3), learning and social innovation (section 4), and public policies for agroecology (section 5), followed by the conclusion and next steps (section 6). The set of recommendations put forward by the meeting participants at the close of each meeting are presented in (section 7).

“A salient point of agreement during the three regional meetings was the potential of small-scale agroecological agriculture as a promising approach to climate change adaptation. There was consensus that agroecological farming systems can play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change through carbon storage solutions through enhanced biodiversity, increased organic content in the soils and reintroduction of trees to the landscape, as demonstrated in cases presented in each region.”  

“Throughout the symposia, it was stressed that education and public research has increasingly acquired a business-like character, where funding from the agricultural corporate sector strongly influences curricula and research agendas.” 

“In face of this situation, agroecology strives to democratize the way knowledge is produced and the way benefits are shared.”


FAO organized the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition in September 2014 in Rome, Italy. The Symposium brought together 400 scientists, food producers, high level officials from governments, policy makers, farmers’ organizations, the private sector and NGO representatives.

FAO’s International Symposium on Agroecology in 2014 was a major step towards a more integrated institutional approach to agroecology. The symposium emphasized that future food systems need to suit the reality of smallholders and family farmers. Agroecological approaches are a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and negative impacts on society and the environment by imitating nature and learning from local agroecological knowledge. The local context should be awarded greater importance: a shift from ‘ready-to-use’ to ‘custom-made’ cropping systems.

  • The first FAO Regional Meeting on Agroecology was successfully held in Latin America and the Caribbean on 24-26 June 2015, in Brasilia, Brazil, with over 130 participants from governments, civil society, regional organizations, academia and research institutions from 14 countries. 
  • A Multi-stakeholder consultation on Agroecology for Asia and the Pacific was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 24-26 November 2015 with over 150 participants including government officials, UN agencies, civil society organizations, INGOs, NGOs, academia, research and development institutes, universities, private sector and farmer’s organizations. (see report 65 pages). 
  • A regional meeting on agroecology in sub-Saharan Africa was held on 5-6 November 2015 in Dakar, Senegal. Almost 300 representatives from governments, producers and social movements, private sectors, academia and agronomic research institutes, civil society, FAO officials, representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities participated in the meeting.

    “Participants in Dakar agreed that while agroecology has been practiced for decades on the continent, it still lacks sufficient support from governments and policy-makers to make better contributions to food security and nutrition. Many participants called for a new narrative based on food sovereignty. To develop this, it would be important to clarify the distinction between food security and food sovereignty”