From 20 to 24 June 2022 the Sustainability Research and Innovation (SRI) conference was held in Pretoria, South Africa. This event, a joint initiative of Future Earth and the Belmont Forum, aims to be the world's largest transdisciplinary gathering for the global sustainability community. As such, the SRI brings together sustainability researchers, civil society and funders to promote sustainability transformation.
Among the many presentations, a one and a half hour session dedicated to AVACLIM was organised on the second day of the conference.
The first aim of this session was to explore how to make agroecology a driver of change in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The second objective of this session was to highlight the need to combine the expertise of research and civil society to build a common future for agroecology in drylands.
The session was moderated and facilitated by Raymond Auerbach, Professor at the Centre of Excellence for food Security (University of the Western Cape) and Scientific Leader of the AVACLIM project in South Africa. Various speakers presented different aspects and experiences related to the AVACLIM project:
- Noel Oettlé, from the NGO Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG), gave the keynote address on the theme: "Exploring the contributions of agroecology to people and planet" and presented the AVACLIM project;
- Maryline Darmaun, PhD student at IRD and CARI employee, addressed the methodological challenges of AVACLIM in her presentation "Assessing agroecological transitions to better understand their multidimensional impacts";
- Mathilde Geay-Galitre, project officer at CARI, presented the diversity of agroecological initiatives that have been evaluated in the framework of the AVACLIM project;
- Alpha Kane, AVACLIM project coordinator in Senegal, then gave an overview of the evaluation of the Sare Boubou village agroecological initiative in Senegal;
- Enya Munting, research assistant at EMG, concluded the presentations with an overview of the evaluations undertaken by AVACLIM in South Africa.
The 30-minute question and answer session provided an opportunity for constructive exchanges with the people attending the session. Two main topics were discussed: the implementation of the organic label in South Africa and the adaptation of the AVACLIM methodology to the contexts of the 7 countries.
In addition, taking advantage of their presence in South Africa, the AVACLIM team made a field visit to discover an organic farm monitored by EMG and part of the Bryanston Market PGS. This was an opportunity to have inspiring discussions on agro-ecology and the use of local knowledge. This initiative was the subject of an initiative sheet in the AVACLIM project