Agroecology for Climate Action in Latin America: Strengthening the evidence base for a climate-resilient and low-carbon smallholder agriculture through agroecology
Latin America hosts more than 50% of the world's biodiversity but land-use change, practices that degrade soils, and climate change threaten its future. It is here that the highest global rates of loss are observed. Agriculture plays a critical role in the mounting pressure on its biodiversity, soil matrix, and water resources. Today, agricultural production in the region covers more than a third of its land, consumes almost 75% of its freshwater, and generates nearly 50% of its greenhouse gases.
To safeguard these exhaustible and vital resources without undermining food production for a growing population, science bets on agroecology. Since the 1980s, agroecology has been promoted in Latin America for the application of its ecological principles in the design and sustainable management of agricultural systems, drawing on the diverse local knowledge systems of the region. The objective of this project is to generate evidence on the contribution of agroecology to climate resilience and low carbon emissions, envisioning healthy and sustainable food systems.
In collaboration with smallholder farmers, local organizations, consumer networks, and scientists, the project will be implemented in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to collect and systematize information on the contribution of agroecological practices to resilience and climate change mitigation. This will be assessed across farms and landscapes with heterogeneous profiles of smallholder farming.
- Systematic "state of the art" review of the evidence of climate mitigation and resilience through agroecological practices in Latin America.
- Socioeconomic viability study of agroecological practices in a context of smallholder farming in Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
- Analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential through agroecological practices in contexts of smallholder farming with Cool Farm Tool.
- Training workshops on Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) for field technicians, community promoters, and farmer leaders in the project’s intervention areas (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru).
- Development of a web application and ‘digital cooperation’ platform to exchange reliable information on agroecological practices and carbon footprints, toward the creation of a green seal through participatory certification.
- Analysis of policy environments and stakeholder consultation on progress, opportunities, and bottlenecks for scaling up agroecology in Latin America.
- Intelligence on agroecology’s contribution to climate mitigation and resilience in smallholder contexts of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
- Generation of evidence on the socioeconomic viability of agroecological practices in small family agriculture.
- Communication products that articulate results to communities of practice and to decision-makers in the region.
- Farm-to-fork digital traceability system that adds value to farmers’ low-carbon and climate-resilient products.
- New skills for women and young people, supported by attractive and accessible technologies.
- Key innovation and advocacy areas for future projects that support agroecological transitions in Latin America.
Gender and youth
The project is based on and adds value to participatory research led by and with farmers through generating new skills and strengthening capacities in the use of digital technologies that are attractive to young people and paying special attention to bridging the digital gap that disproportionately excludes women in rural areas.
- Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (The Alliance)
- Andean Initiative at International Potato Center (CIP)
- French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD)
- Institute of Research for Development (IRD)
- Red de Mercados Agroecológicos Campesinos del Valle del Cauca - Colombia
- EkoRural - Ecuador
- Centro de Apoyo Rural - Perú (CEAR)
For more information, please contact Deissy Martinez Baron, CCAFS Latin America (firstname.lastname@example.org); Andrea Castellanos, CCAFS Latin America (email@example.com); and Alejandra Arce, Andean Initiative CIP (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Funding for this project is provided by the Government of France.