ARTICLE: Perspectives: Agroecology as an alternative to Climate Smart Agriculture -

Taken together, agroecology and food sovereignty represent an alternative paradigm to Climate-smart Agriculture and conventional development. This article focuses on the more transformative elements of agroecology and food sovereignty to clearly identify overlaps and divergences with Climate-smart Agriculture and highlight its incompatibilities with conventional development.

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Photo: Margriet Goris

Five years ago agroecology was barely recognised within official circles, but today it is centre stage in policy discourse on food and farming. This growing international recognition is good news for proponents of agroecology. But, agroecology means different things to different people. As has happened before with words such as ‘sustainability’, the meanings of agroecology are now increasingly contested and re-interpreted by different people and interest groups.

Simply put, the term ‘agroecology’ is now being used by different actors as part of their vision of the future that either seeks to conform to the dominant industrial food and farming system, or to radically transform it. An example of the former is the concept of Climate

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