Global climate change has wide-ranging effects on every part of the world – from warming temperatures, to sea-level rise, to more extreme weather events. Climate change can be caused by a number of natural factors, but the last report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is unequivocal: the main driver of these climatic variations is greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. Among the most well known of the greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide (CO2).
Industrialized countries have historically contributed the most to the production of climate changing greenhouse gases. But developing nations in the global South and the tropics will bear the brunt of the adverse effects of this change. Small island nations in these regions of the world are particularly at risk.
The IPCC report shows climate change will have especially negative consequences for food and water systems. Farming communities will feel a disproportionate impact, chiefly in tropical areas dependent on rain-fed agriculture and pastoral production. Extreme weather and rising temperatures are already shifting crop-growing seasons and affecting food production around the planet.
Women and men farmers have adapted to the vagaries of local climates for millennia. They have developed many strategies to adapt their farming practices to climate-related stresses – varying cropping patterns, using soil management techniques and using the vast genetic resources in seed the varieties they have nurtured over time, to name a few. Their expertise will prove even more crucial to enhance resilience in the face of changing climates.
Here is a library of resources making the case for agroecology as a key response to climate change. Tell us what you’re reading too and share your documents on social media by tagging us: @usccanada OR use this hashtag: #ag4climate.
- Grain. (November 24, 2015). The Great Climate Robbery: How the Food System Drives Climate Change and What We Can Do About It.
- Development and Peace. (2016). Small Family Farmers: At the Heart of Climate Justice.
- International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food systems (IPES). (2016). From Uniformity to Diversity: A Paradigm Shift from Industrial Agriculture to Diversified Agro-Ecological Systems.
- Anderson, C. R., Pimbert, M. and C. Kiss (2015). Building, Defending and Strengthening Agroecology: Global Struggles for Food Sovereignty. Agroecology Now.
- Canadian Food Grains Bank (2015). Sustainable Harvests: How Agriculture Can Help Farmers Address Environmental Challenges.
- Christian Aid. (2015). Climate-Resilient Agriculture: what small-scale producers need to adapt to climate change.
- Elver, Hilal. (2015) Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
- De Schutter, Olivier. (2010). Report Submitted by the Special Raporteur on the Right to Food.
- FAO. (2015). Agroecology To Reverse Soil Degradation And Achieve Food Security.
- GRAIN. (2011). Food and Climate: the forgotten link.
- IFAD. (2015). Food, Migration and Climate Change: The Untold Story.
- Kissinger, G., M. Herold and V. De Sy. (2012). Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation: A Synthesis Report for REDD+ Policymakers. Lexeme Consulting: Vancouver, Canada.
- Via Campesina. (2009). Small Farmers are Cooling Down the Earth.
- Altieri, M. A., P. Koohafkan and C. Nicholls. (2014). Strengthening resilience of modern farming systems: A key prerequisite for sustainable agricultural production in an era of climate change. Third World Network. Briefing Paper 70.
- Altieri, M. A., & Nicholls, C. I. (2013). The adaptation and mitigation potential of traditional agriculture in a changing climate Climatic Change, 1-13.
- Altieri, M. A., Funes-Monzote, F. R., & Petersen, P. (2012). Agroecologically efficient agricultural systems for smallholder farmers: contributions to food sovereignty.Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 32(1), 1-13.
- Altieri, M. A., & Koohafkan, P. (2008). Enduring farms: Climate change, smallholders and traditional farming communities. Third World Network. Vol. 6.
- Gonzalez, C. G. (2010). Climate change, food security, and agrobiodiversity: Toward a just, resilient, and sustainable food system.Fordham Envtl. L. Rev., 22, 493.
- Lynch, D. H., MacRae, R., & Martin, R. C. (2011). The carbon and global warming potential impacts of organic farming: does it have a significant role in an energy constrained world?.Sustainability, 3(2), 322-362.
- Martinez-Alier, Joan. (2011). The EROI of Agriculture and How It Is Used by Via Campesina. Although it does not refer specifically to agroecology, it explains the scientific basis behind the claim that peasant agriculture can help curb climate change.
- Nakashima, D.J., Galloway McLean, K., Thulstrup, H.D., Ramos Castillo, A. and Rubis, J.T. (2012). Weathering Uncertainty: Traditional Knowledge for Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation. Paris: UNESCO, and Darwin: UNU.
- Scherr, S. J., & Sthapit, S. (2009). Farming and land use to cool the planet. Wordwatch Institute. State of the World.
- Wheeler, T., & von Braun, J. (2013). Climate change impacts on global food security. Science, 341(6145), 508-513.
Press Releases and Statements
- Climate Smart Concerns. (2015, September). Don’t Be Fooled! Civil Society Says NO to ‘climate Smart Agriculture’ and Urges Decision-Makers to Support Agroecology.
- FAO. (2015, October 14). FAO and France urge including agriculture in global climate change debate.
- Via Campesina. (2015, September 3). Peasant agriculture is a true solution to the climate crisis.
- Ouya, Daisy. (2015, December 3). It’s time to stop talking and start acting: Agroecological farming for people and the planet. World Agroforestry Center.
- FAO (2015, December 1). 10 Reasons Why Agriculture Is Key To Combating Climate Change.
- Ortiz, D. A. (2015, August 27). Water, Climate, Energy Intertwined with Fight Against Poverty in Central America.Inter Press Service News Agency.
- Bell, B. with M. Ramirez. (2015, August 16). Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agriculture in El Salvador. Truthout.org.
- Agroecology Now. (2015) Agroecology – Vision, Practice, Movement: Voices From Social Movements.
Time To Choose
- Charles Ferguson. (Nov. 30, 2015). Time To Choose.– From Oscar-winning filmmaker, this documentary featuring Michael Pollan will be shown at COP-21 and is available to watch for free by Huffington Post, Nov. 30-31, 2015.
- The Climate Reality Project. (2015). 24 Videos that turn the tide on Climate.
- IFOAM Organics International (Nov. 24, 2015). What We Want From The Climate Agreement. (1 min 58 sec.)
Agroecology Will Feed The World
- Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Good Soil: Strenghtening Support for Small-Scale Farmers.
- World Resources Institute. CAIT Climate Data Explorer.
- USC Canada. Agroecology Will Feed The World.