Examples of Decentralized Governance in Resilient Eco-Agricultural Communities

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Frederic Moberg:

"Learning, participation, and decentralised governance – the fifth, sixth, and seventh resilience principles – were often strongly linked to each other in the farming systems Gonçalves visited. For example, the Ecovida Agroecology Network in Brazil brings together more than 5,000 farmer families in the three southernmost states of the country – Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul – in a network that promotes agroecology and sustainable, resilient use of natural resources. The farmers organise peer-to-peer learning and encourage broad participation that includes poor landless smallholders, larger farmers, and food-processing facilities.

The Ecovida network’s structure and distribution is also a classic example of polycentric governance. The network is divided into several self-governing organisations that interact, manage, and enforce rules within certification and sustainable agriculture. All individual members have a vote and all decisions in their respective organisations are taken collectively.

Similar networks connecting learning, participation, and polycentric governance were present in many other places visited by Gonçalves: PELUM is a network of civil society organisations working with grassroots communities in Kenya and nine other African countries; MASIPAG is a farmer-led network of people’s organisations in the Philippines; NOGAMU is an umbrella organisation of producers, processors, and exporters of the organic sector in Uganda; and there were several networks and organisations that promote sustainable farming in Ethiopia and in Sweden." (https://rethink.earth/farming-with-nature/)