This 1st thematic workshop was part of the activities implemented by the Agroecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (ALiSEA) to foster multi stakeholder collaborations in regards to promoting an agroecological transition. It took place in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on the 29th of November 2016. It brought together 30 participants from Research and Universities (about 60%) and National and International NGOs / CSOs’ (about 40 %) actively working on sustainable agriculture sector in Laos (see participants list in the full proceedings of the workshop).
This workshop aimed in particular to provide an opportunity for initiating co-evaluations of agroecological practices and experiences, with the objective to identify, document and compare parameters, expected results and condition of success for diverse agroecological cropping systems.
This one day collective work has been very intense and very fruitful paving the way to some common indicators to assess performance of agroecology and enabling rewriting a more positive narrative about agriculture. There is still a lot of work to do but it has highlighted a strong interest from the participants to address this issue collectively. The workshop has offered room for a lot of experience sharing from Laos (and abroad). It has enabled to start brainstorming about some revised indicators and to identify ways to start testing them in the field.
It was instrumental in initiating a collective and multi stakeholder reflection regarding ways to measure success. It was the first of its kind and it is expected that others will follow to furthering the discussion, sharing findings of preliminary pilot testing, experiences and best practices and ultimately promote agroecology transition in the Mekong region.
The following presentations have supported the introduction session and can be downloaded through their weblink below:
- The use of indicators to assess the sustainability of farming systems, Definition & challenges, Juliette Lairez, CIRAD ALISEA-indicators-LAIREZ
- Capitalization of experience for developing resilient AE practices in West Africa, Pierre Ferrand, GRET Prezi Capitalisation Experience West Africa
- Farm to Systems-Where is Our Measuring Tap? Case study from India (Welthungerhilfe) presented by Dr Saythong Vilayvong, NUoL Farm to Systems-where is our measuring tap
Then, a second session has focused on Laos with the presentation of indicators which have been developed within the framework of 3 different projects. Here again, all presentations can be downloaded through their weblink below:
- What performance indicators for assessing agroecology impacts? From the EFICAS project implemented by CIRAD, Dr Jean Christophe Castella EFICAS_Assessing AE impacts on livelihoods
- Environmental indicators developed in the framework of the Forestry and Agro-Ecology in Lao rural Uplands (FORAE) project implemented by Agrisud, Claire Kieffer Agrisud in Laos – Result indicators on AE practices
- Measuring climate resilience: an example of indicators system in the framework of the NU-PCR project, implemented by CCL-CARE-SAEDA, Anthony Gueguen Resilience Indicators
Lastly, there was a session organized around the presentation of 3 case studies addressing 3 different AE practices in order to support some group work. Each case study can be downloaded through their weblink below:
- Sustainable Rice System, presented by Thongdam Phongphichith from SAEDA (Xieng Khouang Province)
- Focus on comparison between SRS and conventional rice practices SRS Case study
- Agroforestry coffee, presented by Andrew Bartlett from LURAS / Helvetas (Xieng Khouang Province)
- Focus on comparison between agroforestry coffee and either large scale foreign investments for conventional coffee (or deforestation for monocropping) Agroforestry coffee case study
- Maize/rice bean intercropping, presented by Juliette Lairez from CIRAD (Xieng Khouang Province)
- Focus on comparison between innovative system and conventional system Maize / Rice bean intercropping case study
Full proceedings of the workshop are available for download here