Second International Symposium on Agroecology

  • 05th April 2018
  • by secretary

3-5 April 2018. Rome. Second International Symposium on Agroecology.

Agroecology brings together scientific disciplines, social concepts and practices. The scientific core of agroecology is based on applying ecological concepts and principles to optimize interactions between plants, trees, animals, humans and the environment.

In addition, agroecology places social issues at the centre of solutions for a sustainable and fair food system. As a set of practices, agroecology provides multiple benefits to society and the environment, by restoring ecosystem services and biodiversity. Thanks to its integrated approach, agroecology is key to boost food and nutrition security, while improving the resilience of agro-ecosystems.

In 2014, the 1st International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition provided an opportunity to share experiences and build the evidence base on agroecology, as well as reaching a consensus on the priorities for achieving more sustainable food systems through agroecology. It also endorsed FAO’s role in supporting further implementation and promotion of agroecological approaches.

Following the international symposium, FAO facilitated a Global Dialogue that involved approximately 1,350 multi-stakeholder participants from 162 member countries, taking part in a series of regional meetings in 2015 and 2016. The Global dialogue showcased the important contribution of agroecology, especially in terms of:

  • enhancing smallholder and family farmers’ adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change; 
  • improving nutrition including through more diversified diets; 
  • protecting and enhancing agro-biodiversity in support of ecosystem services such as pollination and soil health; 
  • improving livelihoods in rural areas; 
  • achieving a transformative change in agricultural practices towards sustainable development. 

The 2nd International Symposium synthesized and built on the outcomes of the regional meetings, and provided an opportunity to share and discuss policies that can help scale-up and scale-out agroecology in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Symposium moved the topic of agroecology in FAO from dialogue to activities at the regional and country level by complementing on-going initiatives to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture, identifying opportunities for synergies with FAO’s Strategic Programmes and Regional Initiatives, and facilitating South-South cooperation.

Extracts of the programme: Presentations related to Africa

Successful experiences for scaling up (Watch the videostarting @ 1:00)

Session facilitated by Ms Brave Ndisale – Strategic Programme leader (FAO)

  • Co-creation of knowledge to promote agroecological transitions: the case of peasant ‘juriesMs Tabara Ndiaye. Program Manager – Joint Action for Farmers Organization in West Africa (JAFOWA). Senegal
  • Scaling-up Agroecology through a collaborative knowledge platform Ms Janet Maro. Executive Director – Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT). Tanzania 
  • Transitioning to agroecology in the Senegal River Valley Ms Arantxa García Brea. Technical consultant – Centro de Estudios Rurales y agricultura Internacional (CERAI). Mauritania

Session facilitated by Mr Benjamin Davis – Strategic Programme leader (FAO)

  • Small-scale farmers transitioning to agroecology: improving livelihoods together. Mr Paul Desmarais. Executive director – Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC). Zambia

Policy Issues and Instruments for Agroecology (Watch the videostarting @ 2:09:50)
Session facilitated by Ms Wei Zhang – Team Leader for Ecosystem Services, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

  • Mr Clayton Campanhola, Strategic Programme Leader – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Mr Ibrahima Coulibaly, President – Coordination Nationale des Organisations Paysannes (CNOP)
  • Mr Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit – Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (European Commission)
Biodiversity and climate change (Watch the videostarting @ 2:04:15)
Session facilitated by Amb. Ms Martha Elena Federica Bárcena Coqui – Mexico Permanent representative 

Co-Creation of Knowledge and Innovation (Watch the videostarting @ 0:40)
Session facilitated by Ms Jane Maland Cady – International Program Director, McKnight Foundation

  • Rachel Bezner Kerr Associate Professor – Cornell University (CU)
  • Mr Peter Rosset Professor – El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)
  • Mr Jeffrey Campbell Manager – The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF)
  • Mr Peter Kenmore Senior Advisor – Farmer Field School (FFS)
  • Mr Raffaele Maiorano Vice-chair – Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)
  • Ms Ashlesha Khadse Coordinator – Amrita Bhoomi Center (ABC)

Agroecology, Health and Nutrition (Watch the video, starting @ 1:31:40)
Session facilitated by Ms Anna Lartey – Director, Nutrition and Food Systems Division (FAO)

  • Mr Emile Frison Panel Member – International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES)
  • Ms Daphne Miller Medical Doctor – University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Mr Rajdeep Kapoor Chef – Slow Food India Chef’s Alliance (SFCA)
  • Mr Hervé Petit Program officer – Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF)
  • Ms Florence Tartanac Senior Officer – Nutrition and Food Systems Division (FAO) 

Multistakeholder Dialogue and Engagement (Watch the video starting @ 36:16)

Session facilitated by Mr Roberto Ridolfli – Special Adviser on Strategy and Financing Development (FAO)

  • Ms Ann Tutwiler Director General – Bioversity International (BI) 
  • Ms María Noel Salgado Coordinator South Cone Region – Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y el Caribe (MAELA)
  • Mr Dennis Garrity Distinguished Senior Fellow – World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) 
  • Mr Dino Scanavino President – Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori (CIA) (TBC)
  • Mr Emile Frison Panel Member – International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) 
  • Ms Peggy Miars President – IFOAM – Organics International
  • Mr Mohamed Bakarr Senior Environmental Specialist – Global Environment Facility (GEF) 
  • Mr Philippe Mauguin President – Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
  • Mr Daniel Moss Executive Director – AgroEcology Fund 
  • Ms Bongiwe N. Njobe Chair – Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)
  • Mr Leonard Mizzi Head of Unit – Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development 
  • Mr Gabriele Giulietti Commercial Director – Banca Etica (BE) 
  • Ms Beatrice Ayuru Founder – Lira Integrated School
  • Mr Andrea Baldoni Coordinator Agri-food Desk – Mediocredito Italiano (MCI) 
  • Mr Michele Pisante Deputy Institutional Relationships – Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA) (TBC)
  • Mr Gao Shangbin Vice Director – Rural Energy and Environment Agency, Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)

A new forward looking and action-oriented “Scaling-up Agroecology Initiative” was launched in cooperation with major partners, including IFAD and others.


Scaling up Agroecology Initiative
A proposal prepared for the Symposium. This document presents the Scaling up Agroecology Initiative, a vision to bring agroecologya to scale and transform food and agricultural systems to achieve the SDGs.

Video coverage: See live video stream

Video interviews:
José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General video message – Agroecology: a path to sustainable development

Million Belay of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa cites some examples from a study that show how agroecology is helping countries in Africa work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more:

Dennis Garrity on the potential of agroecology to help mitigate climate change

Clayton Campanhola, Leader of FAO’s Strategic Programme on Sustainable Agriculture, describes the ways that governments, consumers, researchers, academics, practitioners, producers and donor organizations and institutions can enhance the implementation of agroecological approaches. Read more:

Professor Luo Shiming of the Institute of Tropical and Subtropical Ecology suggests that agroecology will be important to the future of agriculture in China. Read more

Hanny Van Geel of La Via Campesina Europe outlines some of the social and economic benefits of agroecology in Europe.