Why do we need a Declaration of Agroecology?
We set a real challenge for ourselves. As part of the Agro-Perma-Lab 2019 project, we are starting work on the Declaration of Agroecology. Although several declarations and positions on agroecology have already been created in the world, we would like this document to be adapted to the Polish context and common to all communities that work for a coherent vision of agriculture, food policy, natural environment and climate.
Agroecology is becoming an increasingly recognised concept and set of practices that can become a response to climate change, hunger and social inequalities. It is spoken of by grassroots organisations and peasant movements around the world, local and international civic organisations, and for several years the FAO has also spoken about it, officially recognising agroecology as one of the most important paths for agriculture and food policies in the world.
The most important thing in the contemporary concept of agroecology is its multidimensionality and integrity – it combines agricultural practices, political, social and economic demands, science and tradition. It is a proposal for a radical transformation (social, economic, in terms of production, etc.) and the implementation of the concept of food sovereignty in practice.
Unfortunately, agroecology is also often talked about by those who promote the so-called sustainable intensification or climate-friendly agriculture. And these concepts are not a proposal of transformation or radical changes, but only practices of adapting to the dominant model of the industrial agricultural and food system. The economies of scale and low price, speed and ease of production are still the most important, and not the quality of food or real care for the environment and people. The paradigm remains the same, only some methods change.
So we want there to be full clarity about what agroecology we are talking about, and that our voice reflects the spirit of the most bottom-up concepts developed among food producers from around the world.
We have built Agroecology through many initiatives and struggles. We have the right to develop it further in the future. Decision makers must not shape it without us. They must respect and support our agroecological processes, instead of continuing to support the forces that destroy us. We appeal to all people of good will to join us in the collective task of co-creating Agroecology, as part of the popular movement for building a better world, a world based on mutual respect, social justice, equality, solidarity and harmony with our Mother Earth.
(From the Declaration adopted by the International Forum for Agroecology, Nyeleni Centre in Mali, February 27, 2015)
We also want, when the time comes in Poland, for agroecology to appear in public debate and in law, to be able to present our definition of agroecology to decision-makers. A definition adopted by a broad community of farmers, activists and activists.
Work on the Declaration
Currently, we are working on the basic text of the Declaration on the basis of extensive literature, scientific research, reports, studies and positions of various institutions. We will conduct the first consultations on its content in October during the Training for Agroecology Leaders in Poland – AgroPermaLab.
The next stage will be consulting the text (with changes developed during the training) with experts in the field of agriculture (ecological, regenerative (soil), agroforestry, permaculture), food policy, advocacy, economy, global processes, biodiversity and environmental protection.
Then the text of the position will be available for wider consultations: during the 2nd National Forum of Food Sovereignty, where representatives of many agricultural and social organizations, practitioners and scientists will meet, as well as during the “Good Harvest” – a seminar for organic farmers – and as part of online consultations.
The consultation process, both expert and social, will be conducted in cooperation with the Living Earth Coalition.
We hope that in the first half of 2020 we will have our joint Polish Declaration of Agroecology.