- Agroecology is an approach to sustainable farming that is quickly spreading around the globe, transforming the way food is produced.
- We’re joined on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast by food systems expert Anna Lappé who discusses why the idea that agroecology is a “low yield” practice is a myth, and just how important the growing adoption of agroecological practices around the globe is to the future of life on Earth.
- We’re also joined by behavioral scientist Philipe Bujold of the NGO Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment, who tells us about the organization’s Lands for Life program, which employs behavioral science to encourage smallholder farmers in Colombia to adopt more sustainable, climate-friendly farming practices.
Today we’re taking a look at agroecology, an approach to sustainable farming that emphasizes working with and even enhancing local ecosystems. Agroecology is changing the way food is produced, especially among smallholder farmers, around the globe.
The impacts of intensive or industrial agricultural practices have come under increasing scrutiny as the world seeks answers to global crises like climate change and biodiversity loss. Production of crops and livestock through industrial agriculture involves heavy use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and antibiotics, as well as other practices that deplete soil, degrade land, and mistreat animals while increasing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Our first guest on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, Anna Lappé, tells us that it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of fighting against nature to feed the world, we can work with nature to produce our food in a sustainable way that actually increases the fertility of farmland. Lappé is an expert on food systems and an author whose most recent book is Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It. She’s here to tell us what exactly agroecological farming practices are, why they’re more healthy for the planet and people than industrial agricultural practices, and how they’re being adopted by smallholder farmers around the world.
We’re also joined by Philipe Bujold, a behavioral scientist with the NGO Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment. He’s here to discuss how we can get even more farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices in order to truly transform the global food system. Bujold tells us about Rare’s Lands for Life program, which is using an approach based in behavioral science to encourage smallholder farmers in Colombia to practice more sustainable, climate-friendly farming.
If you want to delve even further into how we can work with nature to produce our food, check out this recent episode of the Mongabay Newscast that looks at agroforestry which is just one branch of agroecology:
And here’s our conversation with researcher Diogo Verissimo about how the social sciences can provide a better understanding of human motivation and behavior to help create a more sustainable world.
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