Linking Agroecology and Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Climate Resilient Landscapes

Climate change is one of multiple global crises. It is not only closely interrelated with food and nutrition insecurity, but also with biodiversity loss and the degradation of land and water resources. These crises reinforce each other in their intensity – and call for systemic responses. A transformation is needed that enhances the resilience of entire food systems and protects ecosystems and the services they provide. In order to transform food systems in a climate- and nature-friendly way, systemic measures can offer solutions that take synergies and interdependencies into account. Linking Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) with agroecological approaches presents one such solution. Check out the newly published report Agroecology: Making Ecosystem-based Adaptation work in Agricultural Landscapes and the accompanying policy brief

But what is the added value of linking EbA and agroecology? While agroecology and EbA originated in different communities – agroecology from the sustainable agriculture community and EbA from the climate and biodiversity spheres – they share common principles and key characteristics that can support joint projects, policies, and strategies. Both approaches aim to strengthen and maintain ecosystem services for sustainable livelihoods and ecological, economic, and social sustainability. They are holistic because they target a given system in its whole – whether an ecosystem or a food system. In many ways, the two concepts are ‘two sides of the same coin’. Aligning EbA and agroecology offers a strategic opportunity to transform food systems in a systemic way – protecting land, water and biodiversity and enhancing the resilience to climate change. All in all, agroecology offers opportunities for implementing EbA in agricultural landscapes and EbA can accommodate agroecology as an approach to climate change adaptation. 

The report illustrates the potential of EbA-sensitive agroecology in more detail. It outlines three case studies applying the approach in India, Kenya, and Guatemala. Practical steps to merge agroecology and EbA are provided: A Five-Step-Approach presents a comprehensive method for country-level implementation. The accompanying short policy brief presents five key messages, including the need for a systemic transformation, alliances for change, circular knowledge transfer, the creation of an enabling environment and local-responsive financial support. 

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