Why we need to listen to farmers

 

Photo credit: CIAT

An ecosystems approach to the SDGs in Africa: why we need to listen to farmers

To address all the SDG’s, we’re going to need to think like farmers. That means taking a systems approach that includes all kinds of agro-ecological farm systems. This mantra echoed through all the sessions at the Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference: Ecosystem Services for SDGs in Africa. Goals, 2, 5, 6, and 15 were in the spotlight, and to meet them, we have to think broadly and holistically.

That might not be what you expected to read, but CIAT research shows that farmers are the ultimate, great systems thinkers, and we need to tap into and build upon their vast network of knowledge to tackle the problems that face the ecosystems we are trying to protect and livelihoods we are aiming to support.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

Read the full story: CIAT

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.