Agroecology aims to promote sustainable food systems, respectful of people and the environment. These systems involve agricultural production methods and sectors which value the ecological, economic and social potential of a territory. Their development relies on transdisciplinary approaches which bring together professionals from the agricultural world, scientists, actors of agroecology and public policy social movements.
Agroecology is an alternative to intensive agriculture based on the artificialization of crops through the use of synthetic inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) and fossil fuels. It promotes agricultural production systems which value biological diversity and natural processes (the cycles of nitrogen, of carbon, of water, the biological balances between pests and auxiliary crops …).
Agroecology is developing in the scientific field as an approach integrating the concepts and methods of a variety of disciplines including agronomy, ecology, economics, sociology. Aiming to promote the services rendered by natural processes, it analyses at different levels (from field to territory, from individual to community, from short term to long term) the evolutionary relations which are created within these systems between the living, its management method, and the ecological, economic and social context of this management.
Agroecology is brought into the public sphere by social movements which defend food sovereignty and small-scale agriculture. It also questions the way we eat, and it supports the development of short circuits in order to restore a link between our food products and their production mode.
Agroecology calls for a real transition of the agricultural and agro-food sectors linked to energy transition. Committed to food systems, it also deals in a systemic vision with other aspects of our economy such as the production of alternative energies (methanation, biofuels …) or fibres.
References to explore
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2018. Agroecology Knowledge Hub. Website viewed on 20/04/2018.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2018. Second International Symposium on Agroecology. 2018/04/03-05, FAO Rome. Website viewed on 20/04/2018.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2018. Understanding agroecology. A selection of publications offering guidance, tools and analysis. Website viewed on 23/04/2018.