Agroecology Enters the Vocabulary of the United Nations, Feb 8

Monday, February 08, 2016

Speaker: Barbara Gemmill-Herren

The intergovernmental process on agriculture (thus, policy carried out on international level, between governments) has often been fraught with disagreement. While major issues are recognized with a food system that is failing to nourish a large percentage of the global population, radically divergent paradigms of the future of agriculture are proposed as solutions. Unlike agreements on biodiversity or climate change, there are no negotiated agreements between governments on commonly agreed targets in the agriculture sector. In 2014, a process was begun at the Food and Agriculture Organization to discuss and recognise alternative pathways, specifically agroecology. This process, and its status, will be presented.

Dr Barbara Gemmill-Herren, until she retired in August, was Delivery Manager, Major Area of Work on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture Programme Specialist, Sustainable Agriculture at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). She was previously director of Environment Liaison Centre International, international environmental non-governmental organization based in Nairobi, Kenya and was an honorary lecturer in Plant Ecology at University of Nairobi, Kenya. Within the FAO, she built and coordinated a global project on Pollination Services, implemented in Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Nepal. For the last five years, she has been responsible for FAO’s work on Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Production, and has been central to FAO’s new focus on Agroecology. She has been the principal investigator for the TEEBAgFood on rice production systems. She presently works as a consultant to ICRAF (The World Agroforestry Centre), continuing to support the United Nations’ work on agroecology.

This talk is part of the Diversified Farming Systems Roundtable.