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  • Title of document: COVID-19 building back greener and more resilient: Contributions of agroecology to a “new normal” in Asia and the Pacific

    Authors/editor: FAO

    Journal’s name if any:

    Ministry/Government Agency/Organization: FAO

    Year of publication: 2021

    Geographic focus: SEA

    Main issues/ topics addressed (for example:…)

    School of agroecology (if any):

    Web address to original document (if any): http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb3114en

    Summary:

    Besides the severe health crisis, the COVID-19 epidemic also caused the global economy to contract at a rate not seen since the Second World War and led to a severe increase of poor and food insecure people as well as a sharp projected decrease of production of agricultural goods in Southeast Asia. The effects of the pandemic on agriculture have been exacerbated by the way in which the current industrial farming system is set up.

    Integral to Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) common vision for sustainable food and agriculture, agroecology echoes the goals of the 2030 Agenda and can be seen as a key part of the global response to this climate of instability, offering an original approach to meeting significant increases in our food needs of the future while ensuring no one is left behind. As recognized by the World Bank and FAO-led global agriculture assessment (IAASTD 2019), landmark reports from IPBES (2018; 2019), IPCC (2019), and FAO (2019a), agroecology has the capacity to reconcile the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainability.

    This paper is a contribution to the regional dialogue on how to respond to the COVID19 crisis. It first highlights some of the impacts of the pandemic on agriculture and food security in the Asia Pacific Region. Then, mobilizing the FAO’s 10 elements of Agroecology framework, it provides selected examples of how agroecological approaches can contribute transforming food systems and developing a greener, more resilient and more inclusive “new normal”