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The International Forum for Agroecology

The International Forum for Agroecology was held in Nyéléni from 23 to 27 February 2015. Nearly 300 delegates from around the world representing different organizations and international movements of small scale food producers and NGOs supporting sustainable development, came together to promote agroecology and its values. This forum is held at a time when Mother Earth is being aggressively exploited by a destructive economic model; the world is facing an acute economic crisis; the vast majority of small-scale farmers is losing its primary resource, land, in favor of selfish individual interests; and climate change is increasingly evident with its devastating effects.

The Forum was jointly organized by the More and Better Network and the following organizations: La Via Campesina; Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y el Caribe(MAELA) ; Réseau des organisations paysannes et des Producteurs de l´Afrique de l´Ouest (ROPPA); World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers (WFF); World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) and  World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP).

The forum's main objective was to exchange on knowledge and local expertise, share innovations of farmers and small-scale food producers. Moreover, the different debates should enable delegates to come to a common understanding of agroecology and develop strategies to overcome the challenges for building a global ecological and socially equitable food system, while creating linkages and synergies between organizations of small-scale food producers, social movements and all the other organizations that share the same values.

During the  General Assembly of the More and Better Network, organized at the Nyéléni center, just before the start of Forum, Aksel Naerstad (ccordinator) presented the results obtained by the Network and its members over the last three years, since the last General Meeting. The Network made it possible to channel the efforts of diverse actors of the agricultural world towards sustainable practices and continues to advocate strongly for the development of public policies in favor of agroecology and for a better allocation of available resources.

At the closing of the Forum, the participants presented the Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology and called on the United Nations to devote 2016 as the "International Year of Agroecology."

The representative of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Sylvana Ntaryamira used the occasion of the closing ceremony to thank the organizers of the forum for this initiative that will enable FAO to better take into account the profound aspirations of people in its mission for global food and nutrition security.

The president of the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations of Mali (CNOP-Mali), Ibrahim Coulibaly took the opportunity to encourage participants to better incorporate and disseminate the concept and practices of agro-ecology.

By Jacques Yves Atangana, More and Better Afrique