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How to measure agroecology? Testing a new approach in northern Laos

  • Kurzbeschrieb

    In agroecology assessment, there's a balancing act between the desire to generalize findings and the importance of making the assessments locally relevant for actionable insights. To tackle this challenge, we developed and tried out a new approach. We conducted focus group discussions involving village management committee members and district extension agents. Our aim was to create a quick and participatory appraisal of the agroecology status that could effectively capture the state of agroecology in numerous villages within a short period.
  • Sprache

    EN
  • Datum

    16.10.
  • Zeit

    11:00 - 12:30
  • Ort

    Online
  • Meeting Link

  • Organisator*in

    Centre for Development and Environment

In the Mekong Region, diverse and multifunctional landscapes with rich agricultural biodiversity are being replaced by large-scale commercial crop plantations. This change is leading to uniformity in the landscapes and competition for resources, resulting in land degradation. Unfortunately, there is limited high-resolution data available to fully understand the extent of this degradation, and using global degradation models is uncertain. Experts in the region are exploring agroecology as a promising alternative to this dominant agricultural transition. However, putting agroecology on the map is even more challenging than mapping land degradation: changes in cropping practices are not easily monitored using remote sensing that would allow assessing large areas at a reasonable cost.

Having empirical evidence on the land degradation impacts of current agricultural systems and on the extent and benefits of agroecology would be crucial to gain the attention of decision makers and to trigger policy adjustments that incentivize agroecological practices. In this webinar we will present two research projects conducted in the past 12 months in the province of Xieng Khuang in Laos. These projects aim to improve the empirical evidence of both aspects, shedding light on the importance of agroecology for sustainable land use. Researchers involved in these projects will address two questions, which will also form the basis for the subsequent discussion:

  1. How useful are global models to assess land degradation trends in multifunctional shifting cultivation landscapes in northern Laos?
    Speaker: Jun Ji, University of Basel

  2. How to measure agroecology at village level? A rapid participatory appraisal approach using focus group discussions.
    Speaker: Dr Zar Chi Aye, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern

Please register for this event latest 2 days before the event's date using the above link ("Anmelden" / "Inscription" button). The passcode for the zoom meeting will be sent to you via e-mail once you have registered.

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