The transition towards agroecology throughout Europe
The European Agroecology Living Lab and Research Infrastructure Network: Preparation phase
Agricultural systems are facing multiple challenges, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, dwindling resources, degradation of soil and water quality. To strengthen their sustainability and resilience, both the international and EU communities consider agroecology as a solution. Defined by the FAO through ten elements, agroecology is an integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Based on this premise, the European Commission has proposed a new initiative, a European Partnership, provisionally entitled “Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures” aiming to accelerate the transition towards agroecology throughout Europe via a network of living labs and research infrastructures, which are known for fostering innovation.
Funded under Horizon 2020, the Coordination and Support Action ALL-Ready, in collaboration with the CSA Agroecology for Europe (AE4EU) and the Strategic Working Group on Agroecology from the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR-AE SWG), supports the development of this Partnership, by:
- Co-creating a conceptual framework and defining a set of criteria and indicators to map the current living labs, research infrastructures and other open innovation arrangements across Europe and identify organisations for possible inclusion in the future network;
- Preparing various preconditions and activities of the future network (sustainability, including funding, governance, capacity building, data and knowledge management), which will be developed and tested in frame of a small-scale pilot network;
- Creating an implementation plan.
The ALL-Ready Consortium is composed of 13 members from 9 countries, coordinated by INRAE on behalf of FACCE-JPI. The project relies on a co-creation and inclusive approach and on experimentation in real life situations, similar to a living lab approach, which induces collaboration with numerous stakeholders (amongst others, the Animal Task Force, Climate KIC, Water Europe, WWF and the SCAR SWG AKIS.