A CFS side event with the title “Transistion towards Agroecology”, convened by Global Donor Platform Member Switzerland, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et des Producteurs Agricoles de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA), Senegal and France, also a Global Donor Platform Member, looked at these questions and drafted evidence-based scenarios that demonstrate the impact of food system transformation building on agroecology.
One focus of the side event was on a new series of case studies published by IPES-Food. These case studies span a range of geographical locations, where farmers, social movements and local political actors have overcome the systemic 'lock-ins' holding current agriculture and food systems in place. They portray how these actors have embraced change (i.e. through changes in practice, knowledge generation and dissemination, social relations, and institutional conditions) to successfully drive a transition towards greater sustainability.
The challenges are immense. According to Emile Frison, IPES Food, who facilitated the side event, the Fith Assessment Report (AR 5) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) leaves no doubt that the world community must work towards the goal of 1,5-degree Celsius global warming instead of 2 degrees Celsius in order to avoid dramatic consequences. Rapid changes are needed. Farming has a high potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Agroecology has the potential to turn agriculture from being a significant problem to a significant solution,” Frison said. This corresponds with the “Scaling up Agroecology Initiative” by FAO, which is important to move agroecology forward and which launched in early 2018.