Agroecology and climate resilience (report)

The contribution of agroecological approaches to realizing climate-resilient agriculture

It is generally accepted that agriculture is a major driver of climate change as well as being acutely challenged to adapt to its effects. Agroecological approaches involve the application of integrated ecological, economic and social principles to the transition of smallholder farming systems, towards greater resilience. This involves adapting 13 generic agroecological principles to local circumstances. Agroecology comprises transdisciplinary science; sustainable agricultural practices; and, social movements that are precipitating widespread behaviour change. Agroecological principles map closely to principles of adaptation with the notable exception that while they often exhibit resilience benefits, these are incidental rather than representing an explicit response to climate signals.

Agroecology manifests at field, farm and landscape scales, for which different metrics of agricultural performance are relevant in order for agroecological practices to be fairly judged against alternatives.