DOCUMENTATION OF THE EVENT
The aim of the conference is to explain the concept of agroecology to an audience of academics, students, farmers, policy makers, NGOs and other stakeholders, who have an interest in environmental studies, agriculture, and food production. The intention is to be challenged as a community and to reflect interactively about potential paths towards transition.
As we know, our current food and agricultural system isn't sustainable. Increasingly we get locked in a global production model with high social and environmental costs, mainly in the form of a rapid degradation of biodiversity. There is an urgent need to rethink the global food system. This is why Bart Staes, member of the European Parliament for the Greens, takes the initiative, together with a group of Belgian academics, to organise an international conference on transition towards a more sustainable agricultural and food model: agroecology.
Although we do know that agroecology isn't the silver bullet that will solve all problems, we also know that the potential of agroecology as a science, agricultural practice and social movement, is underestimated and is not seriously considered as an answer to the current food crisis.
The 'Take Home Message' of this conference has three main points:
8.30 - 9.30
Arrival of participants
9.30 - 9.45
'The social and ecological challenges: the current crisis of the global agricultural and food production systems'
Speaker: Marie-Monique Robin, Journalist and author of 'The world according Monsanto ' and 'Notre poison quotidien'
European dilemmas of agricultural research : current imbalances and future perspectives
Speaker: Dr. Les Levidow (Open University)
The European landscape of agroecology.
Speaker: Prof. Pierre Stassart (University Liège)
About: An overview about the current situation for agroecology in the European Union: best practices, examples from the ground, grassroots experiences.
The Brasilian case: experiences and evolution
Speaker: Dr.Francisco Roberto Caporal (Professor at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco - Brasil , Staff member of Agroecology and Farmer, Ex President of the Brasilian Agroecology Association (ABA))
About: The mission and vision behind agricultural policies in Brasil and how social change is enhanced
Three video testimonies followed by debate:
12.30 - 14.00
A socio-economic context for Agroecology
Speaker: Bavo Verwimp (organic farmer on 'De Kijfelaar' and agricultural economist)
About: What are the socio-economical impacts of agroecology on a micro level? How can agroecology benefit rural employment?
15.00 - 16.00
People with a big interest in agroecology and a (professional) potential to help us move to another agricultural and foodsystem were brought together for this conference. During this interactive session we want to collect paths and possibilities that each of us has or sees to ease the way towards a more agro-ecological system.
by Dirk Holemans
Closure of the conference
by Bart Staes
Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in French - English - Dutch - Spanish