Agroecological Practices as a Climate Change Adaptation Mechanism in Four Highland Communities in Eduador

Citation:

Cáceres-Arteage, Natali, Maria K. Bachman, and Jason D. Lane. 2020. “Agroecological Practices as a a Climate Change Adaptation Mechanism in Four Highland Communities in Ecuador.” Journal of Latin American Geography 19 (3): 47-73.

Authors: Natali Cáceres-Arteaga, Maria K. Bachman, Jason D. Lane

Abstract:

Recently, public programs in highland Ecuador have promoted agroecology as an adaptation mechanism to climate change. Agroecology has been well studied in terms of its ability to increase food sovereignty, agricultural productivity, and community well-being. The effects of agroecological practices on environmental and socioeconomic conditions, however, have received little attention. This paper examines the different experiences of men and women in several Andean communities in Pedro Moncayo, Ecuador, focusing on their reaction to the changes seen in their communities due to the use of agroecological practices. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this study shows that agroecology is a meaningful intervention for these communities. Farmers perceive agroecological practices as culturally relevant approaches to agriculture that respond to a variety of specific environmental concerns. Agroecology also challenges the gendered dimensions of traditional agriculture in highland Ecuador, providing women with a welcome mechanism to ensure the health of their families as well as their own personal development. The possibility of generating and controlling income has improved self-esteem in women, while also empowering them to make decisions inside the family, participate in community organizations, and assume leadership roles. This transition of women from private to public spaces is a major step toward gender equality, and it simultaneously indicates that adaptive capacity to climate change has increased. The study thus concludes that a meaningful program to improve climate change adaptation also has the potential to challenge traditional gender inequities and improve socioeconomic conditions for rural communities.

Keywords: climate change, agroecology, Ecuador, gender

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Men, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Indigenous Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2020

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