Switzerland and International

Using Agroecology to Combat Climate Change

Our dedication to sustainable food systems

The basis for this project

The effects of climate change, such as droughts or floods, are causing setbacks in current development efforts to ensure food security in the global South. At the same time, global food systems, especially conventional agriculture, are generating significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Agroecology, however, strengthens the resilience of small farmers by diversifying production, increasing resource efficiency and conservation by integration of social aspects. The potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through agroecology, for example, carbon capture in the soil or reducing synthetic fertilizer production, is considerable. This potential of agroecology for climate adaptation in agriculture and  strengthened food security is therefore increasingly supported by international organizations (in particular the FAO). However, so far only very few governments have oriented their agricultural policies towards creating a favorable environment for scaling up agro-ecological approaches. Biovision is working to change this through policy dialogue and advocacy.

Siraro, dryness
In sub-Saharan Africa, weather extremes are increasing. Drought events increase, rainy seasons shift or lead to flooding and destruction.

How does agroecology help to protect the climate? How does agar ecology strengthen resilience? The infographics explain the connections and the resulting synergies.

 

Infographic Agroecology against Climate Change
Click on the image to view and download the infographics.

Project

The project of the Political Dialogue & Advocacy Team will be implemented in two parallel modules:

Module A: Summarizing and creating comprehensible communication about scientific and other relevant findings plus the technical and political potential of agroecology as a holistic solution for current climate-related environmental problems. The target groups are political decision-makers and donor organizations (at the international level and through case studies in West and East Africa).

Module B: Promotion of the dissemination of agro-ecological agriculture

  • Presenting successful pilot projects and persuasive examples to decision-makers and the donor community to garner stronger support for resources, capacities and financing (international and East Africa).
  • Initiating and supporting participatory and integrative exchange platforms for knowledge management, decision-making and reporting mechanisms (CSA agroecology platforms) at the national level in Kenya.
  • Developing strategies and concrete programs for agroecology in Kenya that can be implemented in a targeted manner in cooperation with a well-supported consortium of local stakeholders.

The long-term goal is to create the necessary political conditions to produce enough healthy food using an ecological approach and to enable small farmers to adapt better to external changes such as climate change.

Relevance

The project uses the existing frameworks of the Paris Climate Convention and Agenda 2030 to help raise awareness of and apply the science-based approach to agroecology. This will drive a paradigm shift towards sustainable global food systems.

 

Project objectives 2019

  1. FIBL, FAO and Biovision will conduct a systematic meta-study to assess the potential of agro-ecology to increase climate resistance in agriculture (with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa). Outputs will include consideration of the results in the international climate negotiations (SBSTA 50 Submission and side event) and a presentation of the results at the climate conference COP26 and the CFS annual conference.

  2. Conduct case studies with the FAO in Kenya and Senegal on context-specific, political and technical climate potential of agroecology in these two countries. Presentation and discussion of the results with decision-makers from the two countries.

 

Achievements thus far

A comprehensive analytical framework for the classification of agroecology has been developed and integrated into the Agroecology Infopool website. The platform combines existing knowledge with exemplary methods and projects in agroecology and serves as a reference for a common understanding of agroecology. Additionally, a politically active agroecology alliance and an exchange platform on the topic have been established in Kenya, creating great interest and enthusiasm.

 

Additional information

The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture (MOALFI) is currently implementing a national Climate Agriculture Strategy in all 47 Kenyan districts. Based on this national strategy, each district will develop adaptation strategies and measures that may include agro-ecological approaches. The Biovision project aims to build upon this political dynamic. In 20 districts, Biovision has already carried out a needs assessment on the potential for promoting and strengthening agro-ecological measures. The following levels of action have been identified: policy development support, capacity building, and implementation financing. In a pilot district, policy dialogue is now being conducted to further address these needs and provide support in finding solutions.

In cooperation with MOALFI and CCAFS Kenya, a multi-stakeholder platform will be established within the framework of the project, which will develop guidelines, implementation plans and mechanisms within the framework of the National Guidelines against Climate Change (NDC) for agroecology projects in consultation with all stakeholders.

In cooperation with MOALFI, selected counties and municipalities are planning the implementation of scientifically accompanied pilot projects that base their cultivation methods on agro-ecological principles. These experiences provide inputs and inspiration for CSA platforms at the national level and provide evidence of the feasibility of these projects so that policy makers can develop supportive strategies and implementation plans.