AgroecologyNow! works with partners in social movements, civil society, governments and research institutions to promote a transformative agroecology for food sovereignty and social justice: www.agroecologynow.com

This issue has a special focus on Gaza, but we also have our unusual range of highlights of our latest work and highlights from our networks below. This includes free-to-download articles, videos and other resources. Please feel free to copy/adapt parts for use in newsletters, etc. or share the entire update via this link: www.agroecologynow.com/whats-up/whats-up-2023-december-update/ 

AgroecologyNow! Features

Special Focus on Gaza

AgroecologyNow Statement: Support GAZA Palestine

As a scholar-activist collective, AgroecologyNow! works with civil society groups and networks who cultivate and take care of the land, strive to retain and pass on their knowledge, and struggle to protect their people and territories from environmental destruction, exploitation, theft, and occupation across the globe, including in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of Gaza and the West Bank. In this statement AgroecologyNow calls on fellow scholars, activists, and farmers to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and all other Peoples who are victims of violence and struggle for dignity of life. Read statement here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-1bA

Potential impacts of a complete siege on Gaza’s food and water supply

In this article in The Conversation, Georgina McAllister from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) in the UK and AgroecologyNow!, describes the dire situation Gazans find themselves under siege by the Israeli Army. Sheltering from military strikes, farmers are unable to harvest or distribute food, added to blocks on water, food and energy, all in Gaza are acutely vulnerable to disease and malnutrition.  McAllister warns that a total siege will likely turn the UN prediction that Gaza will soon become “uninhabitable” into a gruesome reality. Click here to read article: https://tinyurl.com/284m4b77

Flash analysis report on food security and related human rights violations in Gaza 

International humanitarian law protects the rights of civilians to access food and water during armed conflict and prohibits conflict parties from using the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. In this context, this report by Insecurity Analysis, with contributions from CAWR and AgroecologyNow! researcher Georgina McAllister, documents a worrying trend in conflict incidents directly affecting food security in Gaza between 7 October and 17 November 2023. Access report here: https://tinyurl.com/st4nretn

Supporting active organisations on the ground

If you are wondering about ways to support active organisations on the ground – particularly those supporting farmers’ access to land in the West Bank, and humanitarian aid in Gaza at this extraordinary time, the Union of Agricultural Workers Committee (UAWC) is the LVC co-ordinator for the ‘Near East’ and does amazing work. Visit www.stopgazastarvation.org


Other AgroecologyNow Features

New interview: “The food sovereignty movement must be anti-caste” say the Dalit and Adivasi members of the Food Sovereignty Alliance in India

In this article, part of AgroecologyNow’s Food Sovereignty and Spirituality series by Priscilla Claeys and Jasber Singh (CAWR and AgroecologyNow!), members of the Food Sovereignty Alliance in India share their fight against the dominant Brahmanical patriarchal ideology which is at the root of the caste system. The discussion brings together landless Dalits, considered to be untouchables and ‘out-castes’, and indigenous Adivasi whose lands and territories are taken over by corporations for commodity crops. Jointly, although from different perspectives, they reject the injustice of the caste system and insist that food sovereignty is about living in harmony with nature and with other fellow human beings. It is about being able to keep ancestral lands, decide what food to grow, what to eat and how to cook food. Based on these principles, they are reasserting their own ancestral spiritual practices, including the right to consume beef as part of their cultural heritage and identity. They are also working for the right of oppressed people to liberate themselves and to restore gender equity in farming. Read the full interview here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-1cj

New report on the digitalisation of agriculture in Europe 

A new report Remote Control and Peasant Intelligence – On Automating Decisions, Suppressing Knowledges and Transforming Ways of Knowing, published by FIAN International, Friends of the Earth Europe, Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience and Agroecology Now!, examines the implications of digital technologies taking hold in European agriculture. It focuses particularly on the friction between digital technologies and peasant autonomy, agroecology and food sovereignty. Download report in EN, FR, GE, NED and HUN here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-1bH

The Right to Food in Europe: A Tool For a Just Transition Towards Sustainable Food Systems 

Placing the right to food at the centre of the European legislative Framework for Sustainable Food Systems (FSFS) would establish new foundations for European law related to food systems and enable the necessary systemic and structural changes for their sustainability. The right to food is a great tool because it pays particular attention to addressing inequalities and exclusions; establishes clear accountability mechanisms for public and private actors including corporations; and is rooted in human rights principles including public participation. Commissioned by FIAN Belgium/Europe, this report was written by Magali Ramel in collaboration with Priscilla Claeys (CAWR and AgroecologyNow!) and other legal scholars. Click here to access report in English and French: https://tinyurl.com/mwdvrbnz, see also this CAWR Policy Brief on the Right to Food in the UK by Jasber Singh (CAWR and AgroecologyNow!): https://tinyurl.com/376ebvkd

Land is a Human Right: new article by leading human rights experts  

Human rights and agrarian activists around the globe have played a key role in pushing for the recognition of land as a human right. Historically, land was seen as a key component of other human rights such as food, housing, property or other economic and social rights. In response to advocacy by transnational agrarian movements like La Via Campesina and others, land is now recognized in international law as a stand-alone human right. This article brings together leading experts including Priscilla Claeys (CAWR and AgroecologyNow!) and co-authors, Lorenzo Cotula, Jérémie Gilbert, Christophe Golay, Miloon Kothari and Veronica Torres-Marenco, to trace back this history. It identifies key contemporary challenges for the right to land: forced evictions and displacements, gender and intersectionality and the impacts of transnational corporations. Click here to access article: https://tinyurl.com/3hhbufjd

‘A shared human endeavour’ – a new model for farmer participation in agroecological research

In this blog, Chris Maughan and Colin Anderson discuss their recent open access article ‘A Shared Human Endeavour’, which offers a new model for designing participatory agroecological research and knowledge co-production. Based on an analysis of their recent participatory research activity, they offer reflections on the importance of considering the shifting needs and capacities of research collaborators, and warn against inadvertently creating a constraining dogma of participatory action research. A knowledge-participation ‘schematic’ is offered as a tool for undertaking this work. Click here for a link to to the blog: https://tinyurl.com/yuu2fkrh 

As part of the 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence, AgroecologyNow! in partnership with three peasant women and one pastoralist women organizations from Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea and Mali publish key findings from research conducted on challenges facing women when it comes to realizing their right to land within customary tenure systems. The research reports and short videos highlight different dimensions of women’s right to land: women’s right to  own and inherit land, women’s right to participate in communal land governance, women’s right to access and control land, women’s right to be free from gender-based violence. They also insist on the importance of protecting and recognizing communal land ownership in a context of land grabbing, privatization and commoditization of land. Click here to access the reports, watch the four videos and learn more about this project: https://agroecology.world/womens-right-to-communal-land/. You will also discover additional materials from the 4 great organizations.

For two weeks, representatives of four rural organizations (from Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea and Mali) met with researchers Priscilla Claeys (CAWR and AgroecologyNow!, UK) and Stefanie Lemke (IDR, BOKU, Austria and AgroecologyNow!) in northern Tanzania to develop a new collaborative research agenda on women’s right to communal land in relation to the climate crisis. Ensuring the right to land for women and youth is key to achieving sustainable livelihoods, especially for people who depend on farming and pastoralism. It is also essential to address the climate crisis. Women with secured land are more prone to use agroecology, agroforestry or soil conservation techniques. They will also have more voice to shape the climate response in their community. Recognition and protection of communal land ownership is one of the most efficient climate strategies, but this cannot happen without democratizing land governance to avoid exclusionary dynamics. This exchange marked the beginning of the third phase of a collaborative research project on women’s right to communal land. Click here for more details: https://agroecology.world/womens-right-to-communal-land/

New resource: Farm Hack UK produces a ‘How to’ guide

As part of a long-term collaborative process Farm Hack UK have produced a ‘How to?’ guide to running ‘Farm Hacks’. Farm Hacks are convivial gatherings at which participants collaboratively develop their own designs, techniques, and ‘hacks’ for making agricultural technology more accessible and useful for small-scale and agroecological farming. Click on the link below to find out more and to access a PDF version of the guide, which includes useful tips on facilitation, collaborative design processes, and resources for planning and delivering events in keeping with a popular education ethos: https://tinyurl.com/59xkhbw4

Seeding Transformation – a Global Forum on Food Systems & Agroecology

Seeding Transformation – A Global Forum on Food Systems & Agroecology – was hosted by the UVM Institute for Agroecology in September 2023. The recordings of the panel discussions are now available in Spanish and English that explore agroecology as a transformative solution to regenerate the environment, cool the planet, and provide good, healthy food for all. http://tinyurl.com/mv8zr6ey



  • Newsletter: The Maasai International Solidarity Alliance MISA launches a newsletter to document and denounce violations of human rights of Maasai of Northern Tanzania as 120,000 are facing eviction for trophy hunting and tourism. Access first, second (September 2023) and third (October 2023) newsletters. Watch also this video on pastoralism and its relevance in the context of a climate crisis.
  • New expert WG to monitor implementation of Rights of Peasants: This expert monitoring mechanism will assess the implementation of the 2018 UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (UNDROP video). It will be established, for a period of three years and consist of five independent experts with balanced geographical representation. Read details on La Via Campesina website.
  • New podcast episode on feminism and agroecology: Feminism inside the agroecology and food sovereignty movement. CIDSE. Access episode created by CIDSE here.
  • Open letter against the deregulation of new genomic techniques in Europe: Academics, from a vast range of disciplines,  including agroecology, political ecology, rural sociology, molecular biology, environmental history, population genetics, evolutionary biology, ecology, agronomy and innovation studies, are concerned about the quality of a new legislative proposal by the European Commission, the process by which it came into being, and the social, economic and environmental impacts it will have, should it be adopted. Read and sign the letter here
  • New blog: Colin Tudge’s Great Re-Think. A website intended to identify and develop the ideas needed to rescue humanity and our fellow creatures from what is now the brink of total disaster  
  • Call for papers: Special issue on Short Food Supply Chains and Transitions to Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems – submissions by 30th April 2024. https://www.springeropen.com/collections/SFSC