Agroecology, making ecosystem-based adaptation work in agricultural landscapes

Key messages


  • Agroecology and Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) share principles and aims for sustainable ecosystems and livelihoods.
  • Urges integrated responses for resilient food systems amidst climate crisis, hunger, and biodiversity loss.
  • Climate change compounds risks by affecting agriculture, water resources, and global food systems.


Agroecology and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA): two sides of the same coin


Agroecology is a systemic approach promoting agriculture that systematically uses and supports ecological processes. It proactively addresses the various linkages between producers, consumers, and the range of other elements constituting a food system. Agroecology is based on a set of clearly articulated socio-economic and ecological principles. Advocates of agroecology aim to achieve transitions in agricultural production schemes, ranging from more “incremental” changes at the level of the agroecosystem up to more “transformational” shifts at the level of the food system as a whole.

While agroecology and EbA originate in different policy and knowledge communities agroecology from the sustainable agriculture community and EbA from the climate and biodiversity spheres –, they share common principles and key characteristics, that could support joint policies, programs, and strategies.  Both EbA and agroecology are NbS with the aim of strengthening and maintaining ecosystem services for sustainable livelihoods and ecological, economic, and social sustainability.


Challenge of interlinked and systemic crises


The aim of this report is to encourage the agriculture and climate communities to find common, integrated, and systemic responses to one of the most urgent questions for humanity: How to develop climate-resilient and sustainable food systems in times of multiple crises that are threatening global food security? Today’s planet is facing a number of systemic crises that are closely interlinked with each other. One of the most dramatic examples is the interdependency between the global food system and the drastic change of the global climate.

The climate crisis exacerbates hunger, biodiversity loss, and the degradation of land and water resources. Thus, climate change threatens agriculture and disrupts the global food system, thereby multiplying existing risks in the system. For example, changing rainfall patterns cause higher frequency and severity of droughts and floods, posing immense challenges to farmers in all world regions.


Author: Jes Weigelt, Fergus Sinclair, Polina Korneeva, Sarah Zitterbarth, Olivia Riemer, Mary Crossland, Menuka Udugama, Lina Staubach, Friederike Mikulcak, Erinda Pubill Panen TMG Research, ICRAF World Agroforestry, and HFFA Research GmbH, commissioned by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Global

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