Agroecology at COP21

Today was Agriculture day at COP21. Various international NGOs hosted an event on agroecology,“an ecological approach to agriculture that views agricultural areas as ecosystems and is concerned with the ecological impact of agricultural practices.” Common principals of agroecology include using renewable resources, minimizing toxics, conserving resources, conserving capital, managing ecological relationships, and adjusting to local environments.

Small farmers all over the world, with the help of NGOs, are banding together to speak out against mainstream agricultural techniques–in particular, techniques that rely on heavy usage of pesticides and genetic engineering. Members of the growing agroecology movement instead favor agricultural methods thatIMG_2916 combine traditional, local knowledge with science and ecology principals. At the end of the side event, a woman farmer from Peru spoke out against mainstream agriculture techniques, linking its practices with consumerism that benefits multinational pesticide and seed companies instead of farmers. She said that GMO seeds have only two years of life, and that promotes consumerism.

Moving toward a 2.7C world, adaptation efforts will be critical in the agricultural sector. Many in the international community feel that mainstream, climate smart agriculture is the way to advance and cope with changing climate. Others, maintain that more ecologically inspired farming methods rooted in traditional methods are just as efficient if not better suited for feeding the world in the midst of climate change.