Agroecology: Transdisciplinary and Transformative
We perceive agroecology as an approach that seeks to integrate ecological science with other academic disciplines (e.g. agronomy, sociology, history, etc.) and knowledge systems (e.g. local, indigenous, etc.) to guide research and actions towards the sustainable transformation of our current agrifood system.
This definition embodies a transdisciplinary-oriented agroecology, integrating different knowledge systems in a search for solutions to challenging current agrifood system issues. It also supports the notion that agroecology is an approach that expresses itself as a science, a practice and a social movement, and that it is most effective when these three dimensions coalesce. With a commitment to transdisciplinary and inclusive analysis, members of the ALC work with smallholder farmers, farmer organizations and cooperatives, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and companies to define research questions and then employ transparent processes for data collection and analysis, with the aim to support transformations and actions.
Articulations of agroecology from our network
In its report, the High Level Panel of Experts defines agroecology as, “approaches that favour the use of natural processes, limit the use of purchased inputs, promote closed cycles with minimal negative externalities and stress the importance of local knowledge and participatory processes that develop knowledge and practice through experience, as well as more conventional scientific methods, and address social inequalities. Agroecological approaches recognize that agrifood systems are coupled social–ecological systems from food production to consumption and involve science, practice and a social movement, as well as their holistic integration, to address [food and nutritional security] (p. 14).
Anderson, C.R., Bruil, J., Chappell, J., Kiss, C., Pimbert, M.P. (2021). AgroecologyNow! Transformations for a More Just and Sustainable Food Systems. Palgrave-MacMillan. Open Access. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61315-0
Méndez, V.E., C.M. Bacon, R. Cohen and S.R. Gliessman (Eds.) (2016) Agroecology: a transdisciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approach. Advances in Agroecology. CRC Press/Taylor and Francis.
Salvador, R.J. & V.E.Méndez (Guest Editors) (2015) New pathways to sustainability in agroecological systems. Elementa Forum. Elementa: science of the anthropocene 3: in progress.