Two sides of the same coin: Merging Agroecology and Ecosystem-Based Adaptation

Agroecology and Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) are both holistic approaches for climate change adaptation and nature-friendly practices – with agroecology originating in the sustainable agriculture community and EbA rooting in the climate and biodiversity spheres. Still, both concepts have many similarities and can be considered ‘two sides of the same coin’. Aligning the two approaches offers a strategic opportunity to transform food systems in a sustainable way – thereby protecting land, water, and biodiversity, as well as human livelihoods.


But how exactly can the two knowledge communities from agroecology and EbA better work together to address climate change, biodiversity loss or other crisis in agricultural landscapes in a systemic manner? An answer is given by the report titled “Agroecology: Making Ecosystem-based Adaption Work in Agricultural Landscapes”, which was published by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The paper was produced in collaboration by TMG Research, ICRAF Word Agroforestry as well as HFFA Research GmbH.


The report illustrates the potential of EbA-sensitive agroecology by first outlining three case studies applying the approach in India, Kenya, and Guatemala. Building on these case studies, practical steps to merge agroecology and EbA are provided by a so-called Five-Step-Approach. As such, the paper presents a comprehensive method for country and local level implementation to adapt agricultural landscapes to climate change, as well as to create resilient food production systems in times of multiple crisis.


The report may be directly downloaded here or from the website of adaptation