Monday 5
From Framework to Farm work: Linking Resilience in Theory and Practice
Gine Zwart, Sarah Doornbos, Willy Douma
› 11:00 - 18:00 (7h)
› Domaine de Restinclières
From Framework to Farm work: Linking Resilience in Theory and Practice
Gine Zwart  1, *@  , Sarah Doornbos  2@  , Willy Douma  3@  
1 : OxfamNovib  -  Website
Mauritskade 9 Postbus 30919 2500 GX The Hague -  Pays-Bas
2 : OxfamNovib-Hivos  -  Website
Raamweg 16 P.O. Box 8556 2508 CG The Hague -  Pays-Bas
3 : Hivos  -  Website
Raamweg 16 P.O. Box 8556 2508 CG The Hague -  Pays-Bas
* : Corresponding author

Session type: Dialog

Chair: Gine Zwart

Speakers: Sara Elfstrand, G.V. Ramanjaneyulu, third TBC

Agricultural systems are a great example of a socio-ecological system, where people and the agricultural biodiversity they manage and depend on, are interconnected and interdependent through dynamic feedback loops.

Agricultural biodiversity includes the variety and variability of animals, plants, and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and processes. For thousands of years farmers have harnessed the potential of agricultural biodiversity to adapt to local environments and socio-economic requirements. Farmers are constantly in the process of shaping and reshaping landscapes and genetic resources, making adaptation a part of their day to day lives. The capacity to adapt and continue to develop has become more pertinent in the face of changing global conditions in climate, market dynamics and pressure on agricultural lands. Current global challenges including food security, poverty and environmental degradation, require large-scale and systemic change in agriculture towards biodiversity-based resilient farming systems. There are several cases where positive changes in agricultural systems were successfully scaled up, resulting in transformation at a larger scale. The triggers and underlying conditions for transformation in agricultural systems however, are currently not well understood.

The resilience lens offers an interesting perspective on the dynamics that lead to adaptation, change and transformation in complex socio-ecological systems. Resilience research has the potential to provide analytical frameworks and tools to analyse these dynamics and increase our understanding of systems change.

However, science and practice often exist in disparate realms. Research that is driven by a desire for fundamental knowledge often has little practical relevance in the field. How can we bridge this divide and ensure that resilience science is relevant for practitioners and farmers and that scientists benefit from the intimate understanding of practitioners and farmers related to local conditions and processes that shape the environment? Interaction between researchers and local practitioners plays a crucial role in understanding how landscape and system transformations take place. The opportunity and will to experiment, innovate, and learn within and between different knowledge systems and cultures is fundamental if we are to achieve large-scale transformation towards biodiversity based resilient farming systems.

In this session we explore the relevance of resilience thinking in analysing the potential of agricultural biodiversity for positive change in agriculture and the factors that contribute to the adoption of practices and their scale-up to a complete transformation of agricultural systems or landscapes. We critically examine the practical value and appropriateness of a Resilience Assessment tool in the context of smallscale farming systems and their local reality in the developing world. We further discuss the development of an analytical framework for scaling up good practice for resilient farming systems, based on a process of participatory research connecting researchers and practitioners from different regions in the world. Through the presentations and discussion we will identify areas in which key civil-society actors can act as bridges between different knowledge paradigms and levels of intervention.


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